Flicking through YouTube a couple of weeks ago, the clever software that makes suggestions on items I may enjoy viewing made the somewhat absurd assumption that I’d be interested in the latest Nick Love offering due out later this year. The Firm (2009). How civilised!
I can still remember the first showing of \’The Firm’ on BBC1 back in the early eighties. My only interest in it stemmed from the appearance of Philip Davies as Yeti, leader of a fictitious Millwall mob that specialised in car vandalism and inaccurate football chants that made me giggle childishly throughout. Phil Davies had played a character called Chalkie in \’Quadrophenia’, and he was a bit of a hero to me at the time.
The film itself was lousy. It still is. It was on one of those wonderfully insipid TV stations a few months ago and I watched around 20 minutes of it, giggled childishly again and promptly switched over to watch pro-celebrity lawn mowing. It hadn’t got any better. I’ve pretty much forgotten about it until now.
Why Nick Love had decided to carry on riding the wave of footie-thug hysteria was beyond me. Is there really a target audience of young males out there that want to see a fictional re-run of the way their peers used to dress, pull birds and go rucking at the weekend?
I guess there must be. After all, Philip Davies and the rest of the cast of \’Quadrophenia’ had enough of an impact on an influential 14 year old that it ultimately led to me wearing uncomfortable suits and a dirty old parka for the next six years.
So are we to expect a rising trend of young men sitting around us at football games with expensive wedged haircuts and Pierre Cardin roll neck sweaters in the very near future? Will we be greeted to new sound bites of football terminology that can be added to the growing list of mugs, strings and being lemon?
Of course we’re not!
There will be a definite interest from those who were around at the time and they will doubtlessly enjoy looking back on a misspent youth and a drained wallet that got hammered at Lilywhites once a month. There’s also likely to be a bunch of lads who’ll go to see it that are sure to undergo a \’wish we were there’ experience.
A small handful will probably scour eBay for a pair of fawn Farah slacks and a Patrick cagoule.
But the possibility of seeing multi-coloured armies of young men boarding the nearest Inter-City 125 is as remote as it can possibly be. Although Nick Love’s other hoolie-offering, The Football Factory, probably did wonders for the sales of Stone Island jackets, it never really changed much in terms of the amount of trouble we see at football matches.
For my money, I just think kids are slowly but surely getting it right when it comes to spending a Saturday afternoon watching their team play. Meet your mates, have a few drinks, bump in to a few opposing supporters in the pub and swap a bit of harmless banter then watch your team get beat before hitting the town on a Saturday night.
It’s a bloody good existence that I’d love to be part of in a full capacity. The missus wants me home before dark though. She locks the door on me otherwise.
Prior to the start of shooting his version of The Firm, Nick Love tried to explain his own reasons behind the casual-influenced remake:
“The original Firm was the sole reason I became a film-maker,” said Love. “For me, the pull of the casual culture wasn’t so much the violence. It was the music, the clothes, the clubs and girls, the swagger and confidence everyone embodied. That’s how I see my version of the movie.”
Thank God for that! And there was me thinking he was only in it for the money!