Savage is a Moving Street-Gang Saga
“A pulse of vulnerability beats at the heart of Sam Kelly’s outwardly imposing but unexpectedly touching debut feature, Savage,” Phil Hoad writes in a review of the film for The Guardian. The film has just been released in the UK.
“Across three decades, it charts the punk’s progress of young New Zealander Danny into copiously tattooed street-gang life,” Hoad writes.
“Former Home and Away actor Jake Ryan, possessing similar solemn antipodean tones to Russell Crowe, has the required physical presence to play [Danny who becomes] ‘Damage’; his character’s straight-arrow MO not only contrasts nicely with his gang-sign-brandishing, mostly Māori and Pacific Islander confrères, but also with interestingly nervy work by James Matamua as his less assured teenage self. Outcast by society, Damage’s conflicted feelings make him an outcast in his own gang – and finally threaten him with permanent exile from his own childhood innocence. A moving character study with bruising moral weight.”
Kelly is the director of the 2011 short film, Lambs.
Original article by Phil Hoad, The Guardian, September 9, 2020.