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The Crack Magazine


Pretty Red Dress

Director: Dionne Edwards

Stars: Natey Jones, Alexandra Burke, Temilola Olatunsbosun

The family in this flawed but interesting and heartfelt Brit drama have enough issues to fill a series. Natey Jones is Travis, just out of prison where he was serving time for drug-related offences, and returning to his family in Lambeth. His glamourous partner Candice (singer Burke) is a supermarket worker with big ambitions of being an actor-performer, who may be heading for the big time as she makes it to the final auditions for the lead in a Tina Turner musical. Natey and Candice’s troubled teenage daughter Kenisha (Olatunbosun) has a terse relationship with Candice and is encountering problems at school. When Candice sees a beautiful but expensive red beaded mini-dress in a vintage shop that would be perfect for her audition, the proud Natey buys it for her, even though it means he will have to go work for his arrogant older brother. The presence of the dress in their flat opens up a whole new and unexpected collection of problems for the family. This exploration of identity, gender roles and self-expression, frequently skirts melodrama, particularly in the over-heated, rather rushed conclusion, but the script, which maintains a spirit of tentative hope, even when family relations are at their worst, is commendably even-handed, ensuring each of the trio get a good hearing, and the cast are excellent.

David Willoughby

Follow David on Twitter @DWill_Crackfilm