Kicking off his writing, production and directorial debut in film, in his first short ‘Major Paper’, Milli Major has debuted with an excellent exposé, and has set the scene for a much larger plot.
Pulling together a great team, Milli Major has created a 15 minute instalment of what promises to be a very entertaining, far longer tale from the road, and the real and present dangers therein, as well as a commentary on the dire situation faced by some of London’s poorest ethnic communities, featuring some big names from the scene such as himself, Paper Pabs, Lippy Lickshot, So Large, Joshua Frator-Loughlin, Chaos and Tempa T (to name but a few).
We are introduced to several characters and groups, each of whom are part of a much broader, interconnected story, whereby several different drug selling crews have gotten into beef with one another, and it has escalated to the point of violence.
In the film we see one of the main characters ‘Rashawn’ suffer a beating, in relation to a deal gone wrong, and it quickly becomes apparent that this will require a much stronger retaliation, lest further violations occur later.
As the film progresses, it becomes apparent that Rashawn has only gotten involved in this type of lifestyle, because his home life has disintegrated, and his family is unable to obtain any money by legitimate means as his mother is unwell, and his father is absent (referencing the never ending loop of gang, and drug related crimes that blight some of the poorest areas in London, forgotten by this government), and as such he has gotten himself into a situation that is far bigger than he is, the fallout from which being set to be swift, and deadly.
The rest of the short follows the various other characters from opposing sides of the problem, as they move to either plot to avenge Rashawn (in obtaining a gun), or walk unsuspectingly into more violence. There are no police at any point during the film, and it is subtly evident that they would be of no value to the situation, no matter how desperate, or out of control any single character might be. In this way, Milli Major makes it clear that from healthcare, to income, right the way through to protection, and/or justice, the services most people rely on in this country are not as readily available, or accessible to all.
The visuals are slick, clean, and atmospherically on point, with the use of ominous lighting and the backdrop of the city mostly at night, the overall sense of trying to move unseen is brilliantly expressed, and the acting from each of the crew is impressive, with the emotional overtones from each scene effortlessly conveyed. The short film closes out with the sound of a gunshot, leaving the viewer in the dark as to whether or not it hit its mark, and with a sense of wanting more.
An excellent debut from Milli Major dealing with hugely sensitive topics, in both a gripping, and cleverly executed manner.
Watch out for the next episode!
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