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This is Belter.... Purely Belter!
Purely Belter (DVD)
Member Name: bettyboop2002
Purely Belter (DVD)
Advantages: Funny and you don't have to be a football fan to enjoy it
Disadvantages: Never got the recognition I feel it deserved
When this film was recommended to me I had never even heard of it, it is a low budget UK film released in 2000 by Film Four. It has a football theme but you really don't need to be a football fan or have any knowledge of the sport to enjoy this film.
The film was directed by Mark Herman who also wrote and directed Brassed Off and The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas.
The film lasts for 99 minutes plus special features including directors commentary, cast interviews and on location and it is certificate 15. It is available new on Amazon for £8.99 including delivery.
The storyline revolves around a pair of lads, Gerry and Sewell, who come up with the idea of buying season tickets for their beloved Newcastle United. They then realise that they are about £1000 short but they weren't going to let that get in their way.
The story follows these down and out lads as they beg, borrow, steal and just about anything else they can do to make a few quid and bring them closer to their goal including stealing Alan Shearer's car and laughing at his choice of music (Shearer makes a brief appearance in the film).
They try some street entertainment, babysitting and scrap collecting but every time they seem to be making any progress they suffer one setback or another and you really end up feeling sorry for them.
The story is very funny and you can't help but like these cheeky, down on their luck teens. It's not all fun and games though, the film does touch on some serious issues like drug abuse and domestic violence.
One film critic criticised the way they portrayed the teenagers' criminal behaviour in a comedy fashion and almost implied that they were glamourising crime and anti social behaviour, I would have to disagree with this response as I know many teenagers who have seen the film, enjoyed it and do not now feel that it is in someway cool to go out robbing or begging. I think the humour was a bit lost on this particular critic.
You can tell that most of the actors in the film are new to acting and there's a bit of stuttering and they just don't seem sure of themselves but it wouldn't bother me because it suited the characters, being very down to earth and laid back.
Unfortunately the film didn't really take off and didn't get the recognition which I feel it deserves. The actors did a really good job portraying their characters and unfortunately haven't been very well rewarded for it.
The main characters are Gerry (played by Chris Beattie) and Sewell (played by Greg McLane), I have never seen Greg McLane in anything since this film, and have only seen Chris Beattie on The Weakest Link since and it was the normal episodes not a celebrity special. I really think these two are deserving of more credit for their parts.
Gerry's mother is played by Charlie Hardwick who has since received quite a few awards for her part as Val in Emmerdale.
Gerry's father has a fairly small but significant role in the film and is played by the actor Tim Healy who was first known for his part as Dennis in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, he has since been in many things including Coronation Street and more recently Benidorm.
Kevin Whately plays a teacher in the film and was previously in Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Morse.
I have watched this a few times with people of various ages, male and female, those who like and do not like football and everyone has enjoyed it. It is funny and easy to watch I would definitely recommend it especially for teenagers, I first watched it as a teenager and thought it was hilarious although not as funny now, I'm not sure if that is due to getting a bit older or the fact that I nearly know it word for word. It remains one of my favourites to this day and the ending never fails to put a smile on my face either.....watch and see :)
Summary: Humorous football themed film teenagers doing everything they can to raise money for tickets