Review in Brief: Rocks (2019/20)

The wonderful ROCKS completely broke me multiple times. It is the most loving tribute to friendship and the collaborative process of filmmaking. Thanks to director Sarah Gavron’s process involving classroom-based intensive workshopping and invaluable, grounding input from the young cast, this may become the only way to film a truthful school story in future. What the cast really manage to bring across is what’s great about being a teenage girl (hanging out with friends) and what’s not (falling out with friends) and the challenges so many experience every day (neglect, poverty, trying to avoid the attention of social services). I don’t think I’ve seen a better film about friendship, and particularly the damage caused by petty school arguments since WE ARE THE BEST! The cast of non-professional actors are excellent across the board (Bukky Bakray as the title character and Kosar Ali as her best friend stand out and have to do most of the dramatic heavy lifting) and any of them could be looking at a promising future in the industry should they want to pursue it. Rocks is hard-hitting but feel-good, frank and funny and always honest. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourite filmmakers include Bong Joon-ho, Danny Boyle, the Coen Brothers, Nicolas Winding Refn, Clio Barnard, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Verhoeven, Taika Waititi and Edgar Wright. All reviews and articles are original works written and owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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