Three teenagers and their various squeezes go through a rapid maturing process across 48 hours in "Kidulthood." Edgily lensed look at West London street culture, set to a British hip-hop soundtrack, starts to deliver in its second half but is less secure when the characters demonstrate emotions that are deeper than their jive talk vocabulary. Modest undertaking could rumble up some coin among its target audience with a heavy marketing push.
When class is suspended after the suicide of a girl who was bullied, 15-year-old Trife (Aml Ameen) and his buddies, Jay (Adam Deacon) and Moony (Femi Oyeniran), decide to humiliate school bully Sam (scripter Noel Clarke). Jay also steals Sam's g.f., Claire (Madeleine Fairley, touching), while Trife's g.f., Alisa (Red Madrell, good), who's discovered she's pregnant, goes on the lam with her slutty friend, Becky (Jaime Winstone, daughter of Ray). Events climax bloodily at a party. Deacon brings some welcome humor to the film as the unintelligible Jay -- who needs subtitling -- and lensing (by the experienced Brian Tufano, from "Trainspotting") and cutting are superior.
Camera (Deluxe London color), Brian Tufano; editor, Victoria Boydell; music, The Angel; music supervisors, James Hyman, Ian Neil; production designers, Murray McKeown, Nick Tuft; art director, Paul Harvey; costume designer, Andy Blake. Reviewed at The Hospital preview theater, London, Jan. 12, 2006. (In Cannes Film Festival -- market.) Running time: 87 MIN.