Sket is a disturbing gang movie written and directed by Nirpal Bhogal that reveals the underbelly of a London neighborhood—not the quaint areas one sees while traveling to London. The movie revolves around a drug dealer named Trey who plies his trade and a gang of girls who have nothing to do all day but smoke reefer, drink beer and see how they can rob a store or two for money.
Ashley Walters stars in “one of the most controversial and talked about crime thrillers.” According to press materials, Sket benefited from extensive research, including input from real-life gang members serving as script advisers. Walters, who plays Trey, runs a lucrative but underground drug business, using both guys and girls as drug runners. Well, I venture to say what drug business isn’t underground? He is a feared gang leader, and even he doesn’t get much sleep and seems stressed out all the time. His crew should be faithful, but this faith is tested in an unlikely way.
Trey and his gang find themselves in an alley and, unfortunately, they are approached by a young lady who is concerned about Trey’s treatment of one of his female gang members. Things get out of hand, and Trey violently beats the woman so badly that she later dies in the hospital. Her sister Kalya, over whom she had been watching, is naturally incensed and joins up with the girl gang that eventually agrees to help her kill Trey. But it’s no easy task.
Brought to us by the folks who produced Anuvahood, Revolver Entertainment, Sket is a brutal look into how guys can just beat up on and even kill women with no abandon. It was disturbing to see the violence against women, but I guess, on the other hand, the salvation for some viewers is that the women or young girls band together to exact revenge on their tormentors.
The urban dictionary defines ‘sket’ as a slut or promiscuous woman; so I gather the title refers to the young girls. But if you took the young girls out of their poverty-stricken situations, any one of them could be the girl next door. But the conditions under which they live or—better yet—the lives they choose to live compel them to commit crimes and lash unto any man (or in the case of the bisexual in the group) any woman who will foot the bill for a time.
Sket is a movie that could have just as well been made in any urban city in America. Grant it, Sket is a good movie, if you can stomach the violence. Trey does show his softer side, upon learning that his beautiful girlfriend Shaks (played by Riann Steele) is pregnant. He initially tells her to get rid of it, but she learns later, albeit maybe too late, that he really would prefer that she keeps the baby. But by the time she discovers this, she has helped the girl gang catch up with Trey and they have taken their revenge and pain out on him. He may never live to see the baby that he probably halfheartedly thinks will make him a man.
I particularly liked Steele’s role. She is a graduate of an arts academy in London and has performed in live theatre, as well on television. She seems so vulnerable and compassionate at times—as if she knows that she deserves better than being a moll, but that she couldn’t leave Trey. But as I mentioned before, the attraction that a drug dealer has on a young lady is mostly financial. Aimee Kelly plays Kayla and is really a fish out of water, trying to play with the big league. But her anger and guilt about her older sister’s death causes her to become immersed in a life of crime that I am sure she feels is the only way to make things right. Kelly also plays a character that I wished could have turned the clock back and one that could very well represent any one of millions of young ‘Kaylas’ of the world.
Sket, which was an official selection at the 2011 London Film Festival, could also be a primer for young girls who would learn that simple lesson—crime doesn’t pay. Sket is available now on DVD from Revolver Entertainment. Visit www.revolvergroup.com or www.sketmovie.com