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4.3.2.1

SYNOPSIS:
While Jo (Emma Roberts) is chained down in a dreary supermarket job, her friends are out on their separate adventures: Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton) is jetting off to New York to meet her Internet boyfriend; Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland) is on a one woman crusade fighting for female liberation and Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond) is on the road to suicide. But a chance encounter with some diamond thieves sends their separate worlds on a collision course with not only each other, but fate itself. These 4 girls are about to have 3 days they will never forget, across 2 cities. If they survive.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Spiced with soft porn, frequent profanities and other street-littering lingo, 4.2.3.1 is a spasmodic attempt to slice a story into four parts, each a story about 3 days in the lives of 4 girlfriends - one of whom is jetted into New York on a fabricated plot point to give the filmmakers 2 cities. As for the 1 - it's about the 1 chance they have of ... I won't spoil it.

Aimed at young audiences, it's a bit of a chick flick for guys, in that the four central characters are young women but there is a bit of violence and the aforementioned soft porn (lesbian soft porn at that). But the tone shifts from the serious drama of Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond) suffering depression after a life of rejection and selfish parents who are splitting up, with the added burden of a special guilt - to the farcical story of Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton) whose internet-generated date across the Atlantic turns bad. There is also a confusing and silly subplot about a piano audition which is embarrassing, despite Mandy Patinkin's best efforts to give it gravitas as the auditoner.

The device of splitting the stories up simply drives a series of wedges into the film and prevents the audience from getting involved, although I suspect the target market will be less conscious of this. The frustrating hand held camera work, further muddled with editing of the chopping school detracts instead of engaging, and the score is a contempo fusion of hip hop and jagged cues accentuating the action scenes.

Performances are generally fine, writer/director Noel Clarke (of Kidulthood and Adulthood fame) especially impressive as the supermarket manager who is involved with the heist that brings all the characters together. The girls also deliver the goods, notably Ophelia Lovibond in the film's best role, and Shanika Warren-Markland as the lesbian Kerrys with a full bag of family issues.

The ending suggests that Noel Clarke is aiming for a mood somewhere near contempo Brit Charlie's Angles, but that defies the story elements.
Published first in the Sun-Herald

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

4.3.2.1 (MA)
(UK, 2010)

CAST: Emma Roberts, Tamsin Egerton, Ophelia Lovibond, Shanika Warren-Markland, Noel Clarke, Kevin Smith, Mandy Patinkin, Helen McCrory, Craig Miller, Eve, Davie Fairbanks

PRODUCER: Noel Clarke, Mark Davis, Damon Bryant, Dean O'Toole

DIRECTOR: Noel Clarke, Mark Davis

SCRIPT: Noel Clarke

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Franco Pezzino

EDITOR: Mark Everson

MUSIC: Adam Lewis, Barnaby Robson

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Murray Mckeown

RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 19, 2010







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