• Name: Concrete Plans
• Year: 2020
• Country: UK
• Director: Will Jewell
• Main cast: Goran Bogdan, Kevin Guthrie, Chris Reilly, Amber Rose Revah
• Runtime: 91 minutes
• Production company: Perfectmotion, Initialize Films, Up Helly Aa Films
When I was in school, one of the books of mandatory reading was Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. That Spanish novel, first published in 1981, told the story of a small town witnessing the vengeful murder of some dude Santiago Nasar by two twins. But the key of the story, what made it so popular, it even had a movie adaptation starring Ornella Muti and Rupert Everett, was not the murder itself, and not even the investigation of the case. Throughout the entire novel, since the unlucky protagonist breaks the honor of the twin’s sister, nothing and nobody would have prevented the deadly end. It was a foretold death. Well, the same happens in Concrete Plans (2020).
In the movie, five builders are brought together to renovate a sprawling old farmhouse. The group is a living timebomb. They are not strangers to each other, which can bring some sense of camaraderie, but also carry already some frictions between the men. And the working conditions are by far unacceptable, being housed in a trashy cabin, no decent hygiene conditions, no internet or phone reception, and the wealthy owner of the house acting like an absolute jerk, a tyrant. Everybody has a past here, men with real rage inside of their worn-out bodies, so when the promised money is gone hell breaks loose. Yep, another foretold death, everybody saw it coming.
But, still, with such a predictable story, Concrete Plans (2020) turns out to be a very intense and emotional movie, with an honest social background. Will Jewell has made a great job with his debut feature film, creating an environment of escalating violence based on common situations. The writer and director also got wrapped up with a highly competent cast of actors of diverse nationalities. Very good story, acting, and direction.
Concrete Plans (2020) is not a movie where technical or artistic individualities stand. Every single piece is solid as the cement they were using to rebuild the farmhouse. The family backgrounds of each one of the building team members are slightly mentioned, so the audience won’t get lost in dramatic substories, but yet each one of the men is transparent as water thanks to the smart screenplay and the effective performances.
Perhaps it is to outstand the soundtrack created by Paul Hartnoll of the legendary electronic band Orbital, closer to the 1980s retro synth scores so much in hype lately than to the dance anthems created by his band. But don’t get fooled by the score, because here we won’t find futuristic creatures or magical monsters. Concrete Plans (2020) is nothing but a very compact horror thriller where the enemy is the sole nature of the human being. And the good-hearted ones will lose the game.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt10975750
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