Snow in Paradise

"OK"

Snow in Paradise Review


There's a lot of talent on-screen in this British crime drama by editor-turned-director Andrew Hulme, but the film never quite resolves itself into something meaningful. Characters are unlikeable, events are under-developed and the setting is simply too cliched to ever properly spring to life. But it looks terrific and plays loosely with some seriously pungent themes.

It's set, of course, in East London, specifically in the crime-ridden area of trendy Hoxton, where gangsters Micky and Jimmy (David Spinx and Martin Askew) are duelling for control. Caught in the middle is young Dave (Frederick Schmidt), whose late father was the respected boss. Dave aspires to that kind of greatness, but doesn't have the smarts to achieve it. He takes a delivery job for Jimmy, his dad's brother, and drags his unwitting pal Tariq (Aymen Hamdouchi) in without telling him that they're delivering a bag of drugs. Even worse, Dave steals a brick of cocaine thinking no one will notice, then proceeds to snort and smoke it all. When Tariq goes missing, Dave turns to Micky, his dad's best pal, for help. As tensions rise, Dave's girlfriend Theresa (Claire-Louise Cordwell) suggests they run away, but while looking for Tariq in the local mosque, Dave has become intrigued by the peaceful atmosphere there.

Even with all kinds of intriguing things swirling around, the script merely drifts into yet another cautionary tale about the dangers of drug abuse and crime. Dave isn't the smartest guy in any room, and idiotically thinks he can handle it even as everything around him spirals out of control. Even his foray into Islam feels ignorant, as Dave clearly hasn't a clue what the religion means. He just likes being in a quiet place surrounded by people who seem to like him for a change. Schmidt plays him with a lot of on-screen charisma, bringing out Dave's misplaced confidence: he knows he's sexy and can get pretty much whatever he wants. But he's such a simpleton that he's impossible to root for.

Other characters aren't much better. Spinx and Askew are decent as the standard variations on mobsters, while Cordwell brings the requisite steely trashiness. But the script never follows through on its more interesting wrinkles. There are hints that Dave has other feelings toward Tariq, but that is far too much for such a simple-minded movie that would rather wallow in false bravado than anything complex or provocative. No, this script feels like it was written by people who have watched too many movies and TV shows, rather than anyone who understands life in a diverse neighbourhood where crime and religion swirl together in uncomfortable currents.



Snow in Paradise

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th February 2015

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Andrew Hulme

Producer: Christine Alderson

Starring: Frederick Schmidt as Dave, Martin Askew as Uncle Jimmy, David Spinx as Micky, Aymen Hamdouchi as Tariq, Claire-Louise Cordwell as Theresa, Amira Ghazalla as Mrs. Anwar, as Amjad

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