Film Review: Twenty8K


“We ‘re the F***ing 28k” is the quote from a gang leader in a book (who was referring to his gang being twice as hard as the Traid gang the 14k) which gave Director/Producer Neil Thompson the inspiration for one of the most intriguing titles in British cinema. `

Twenty8k follows Deeva Jani, a Paris-based fashion executive, who is obliged to return to London after hearing the news that her brother Vipen, has been arrested due to a fatal shooting outside a nightclub in the east of the City.

With her family berated and the murdered boy’s parents claiming retribution against her brother from within the jail walls, Deeva turns detective to clear her brother’s name and to most importantly save his life.

Co-Directed by Neil Thompson and David Kew, Twenty8K highlights a councils desperate attempt to clean up their borough in the run up to the Olympic games (an effort that was mirrored in real life by many East London boroughs including Hackney). Shot within the end east and at 3 mills studios, many iconic landmarks such as Canary Wharf, The O2 and the Olmypic stadiums. Provide the perfect backdrop for this story to unfold in front of.

Twenty8K has a hot young cast of British talent, including Bend It Like Beckham’s Paminder Nagra playing the leery Deeva and Robin Hood’s Jonas Armstrong playing the cryptic youth worker, Clint. Plus a strong supporting cast including Kaya Scodelario, Michael Socha, Stephen Dillane, Kierston Wareing, Nichola Burley and Greg Chillin.

Starting life in the mid-1990’s, Neil Thompson original intended to make a documentary drama constructed around a succession of interviews. The doc-drama had many of the same  characters to some extent with the exception of the main character Deeva, who was originally a journalist. Thompson started pitching his idea to different people but the response was pretty uncontested, the concept although good would work better as a full fictional film.

Originally confused Thompson put the project aside untill early 2000 when he linked up with producer Martin Carr for the feature film Clubbed. Carr responded positively to a 12-page treatment of Twenty8K and then finally things started moving in a serious direction, with the project under its new demeanour.

The script comes from the pen of the writer of the multi award winning television series Shameless, Paul Abbot and he’s protégé Jimmy Dowdall.  Although this film seemingly ticks all the right boxes in regards to cast and crew, the film can not shake off that small screen feel.

With a script written by television writers, the pacing and delivery of the story is more familiar to those of a three-part drama and bares resemblance to an episode of New Tricks. With external characters providing many cringe-worthy moments, Twenty8K is simply no more than a feature length Detective drama.

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