Mischief Night

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/10/2006

Four out of Five
Running time: 93 mins

Opens London Film Festival: 21st October

Mischief Night is like a feature length episode of Shameless – it's funny, moving, well written and superbly acted by an impressive ensemble cast.

What's it all about?
Mischief Night is a Yorkshire tradition that takes place on November 4th – it's basically like Trick or Treat on Halloween, only without the treats. Directed by Penny Woolcock and produced by the company behind Shameless, the film follows several characters in a Yorkshire town, during the week leading up to Mischief Night.

The characters include Tina Crabtree (Kelli Hollis) and her three unruly children, headstrong Kimberley (Holly Kenny), wannabe gangster Tyler (Michael Taylor) and mischievous Macauley (Jake Howard). Their neighbourhood is separated from the nearby Pakistani neighbourhood by a park but as Mischief Night approaches, the Crabtrees find their lives more and more entwined with those of the Khan family, including responsible Immie (Ramon Tikaram), his sister Sarina (Sarah Byrne) and impish troublemaker Asif (Qasim Akhtar).

The Good
The film does a credible job of exploring two different cultures and the surprising ways in which they overlap. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of character-based humour in the film, particularly in the scenes involving Macauley's gang and their adventures on an infamous local street nicknamed Death Row.

The ensemble cast give superb performances, creating characters that we really care about, especially when a couple of the story elements start heading in darker directions. Tikaram and Hollis make an extremely appealing couple and Holly Kenny is superb as the prickly pre-teen whose decision to uncover her father's identity kicks several different plots in motion.

The Great
Multi-character films always work best when their different plot strands dovetail in interesting or unpredictable ways and Mischief Night is no exception, thanks to writer-director Woolcock's cleverly structured script. The direction is equally impressive and Woolcock keeps up a lively pace whilst juggling several different story elements.

Worth seeing?
Mischief Night is a thoroughly enjoyable multi-character drama that's both moving and hilarious in equal measure. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Mischief Night
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Content updated: 23/01/2020 06:16

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