Wednesday 4 December 2013

"NFA" (The Guardian 29/11/13)

NFA (uncertificated) 74 mins ***

The title’s the acronym for No Fixed Abode, and this cautionary tale of displacement sports impeccable credentials: writer-director Steve Rainbow has worked at hostels across the country, and his supporting cast are evidently the real thing, drawn from Birmingham’s homeless population. A credibly befuddled Patrick Baladi is Adam, the sometime family man who wakes up in a hostel with no memory of how he got there; his plight is framed – perhaps a little conveniently – as a Memento-like puzzle, with flashbacks revealing grim truths during the trudge between makeshift shelters. It’s operating at a fairly low, scrappy level: there are continuity blips, and Rainbow can only assign two (representatively unsympathetic) policemen for the whole of Digbeth. Yet for once this doesn’t seem inappropriate: NFA has the air of a compellingly ordinary nightmare, and its modulated conclusion brings us closer than expected to the pain and confusion of a life lived on the streets. 

NFA is now playing in selected cinemas.

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