London wunderkind Simon Rumley wrote, produced, directed and probably did the catering on this fantastic debut feature. As an exercise in storytelling it appears to be simplicity itself. Initially it’s little more than testimonies to camera from a bunch of young Londoners as they bang on about money, clubs, drugs, sex, food, drink and Blur (well, it was made in 1998) among other things. Then the stories from the unconnected talking heads start to coalesce and something much more disturbing starts to rear its ugly head. I won’t say more than that about the plot because Strong Language’s ta-daa moment is dramatic in the extreme. Which is not to belittle the acting, which is very street-real, or the film’s construction and editing, both of which are sophisticated and have the nervy energy of a big night out on ecstasy. It is in short a brilliant debut made for buttons and no amount of money could have improved it. Since making it Rumley has failed to kick butt in the way this film suggested he was about to. But he will. It is only a matter of time. At which point everyone will start looking back for evidence of his immense talent. It is here in the zeitgeist-tapping Strong Language, made when London was having another of its “coolest city on earth” moments. And yes, the title is something of a warning for those who have sensitive ears.
© Steve Morrissey 2013