Film review | Turnout – An East End likely lad’s unlikely misadventures in love and crime

Turnout - Ophelia Lovibond & George Russo

East End likely lad George secretly raids his girlfriend Sophie’s holiday savings to fund a dodgy drug deal in crime-romance crossover Turnout. He reckons he’ll be quids in before she’s any the wiser, but as his freeloading friends dip into his stash and Sophie becomes suspicious, his moneymaking scheme quickly unravels.

As the film’s slick look shows, first-time director Lee Sales has a good eye, and a good cinematographer (James Friend), but he’s a lot shakier when it comes to creating a convincing story. Just as George Russo’s luckless hero finds it hard shifting his supply of coke, so do Sales and his co-writers (Russo and co-star Francis Pope) fail to sell the relationship between ducking and diving geezer George and Ophelia Lovibond’s middle-class, Alice-band wearing, VW Beetle-driving Sophie.

If Russo radiated bad-boy charisma, you might grasp what she sees in him. As it is, he’s a bit of a drip, making it hard to care whether or not they stay together. The film’s depiction of its East End setting also raises an eyebrow. George and his mates (who include Plan B rapper Ben Drew in a pugnacious cameo) inhabit a Hoxton that is overwhelmingly white and working-class. There isn’t a skinny-jean-wearing hipster to be seen – and scarcely a non-white face.

On general release from 16th September.

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