After a four-year absence Chris (Danny Mays) returns to his hometown, the fictional Dudlowe, in the south of England. He has come to make amends to his old friend and small-time drug dealer Shifty (Riz Ahmed). Something happened between them last time they met. When Danny meets vicious cocaine dealer Glen (Jason Flemyng), he realises Shifty is in deeper than he thought – and he is about to get dragged in with him.
Writer/director Eran Creevy’s debut feature is a micro-budget marvel of an urban thriller. Sharply written, nicely paced and with healthy traces of absurd humour (veteran actor Francesca Annis appears at one point as an aging noise harassed pothead with a penchant for stuffed cats), it benefits greatly from some excellent performances, judicious editing and fine original score.
All of which makes Shifty feel like the real deal – a dogshit smeared tale of frustrated lives, drab drug deals and derailed friendships, one that does not outstay its welcome for a moment. Creevy is clearly a talent to watch in the mould of Shane Meadows and Noel Clarke.
Selected release from Fri 24 Apr.