2 May 2012
By Michael Holland
The film Outside Bet is loosely based on Camberwell man Mark Baxter’s semi-autobiographical notes, which were given a make-over by writer Paulo Hewitt, then fictionalised to become The Mumper.
After years of grafting, Mark got a Millwall supporting film producer interested in his book, and the rest, as they say, is history. The book was given to a screenwriter, who added a couple of characters for the love interest and changed the ending for Outside Bet.
Outside Bet has a cast made up of England’s finest; a group of actors that have been involved with iconic work since the 1950s up to the 21st century. Dudley Sutton, Rita Tushingham were in ground-breaking films in the 1960s;
young boys grew into men with Jenny Agutter; men wanted to be Harold Shand when they saw Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday; every teenager wanted a Lambretta after seeing Phil Davis & Co in Quadrophenia, just as they wanted to dress in the cool duds of Calum McNab in Football Factory.
Today’s kids want to be Adam Deacon in Adulthood and Anuvahood. Bring all these together as a gang of drinking buddies and you have a winner. The gang are made an offer they should have refused, but didn’t, so ended up with a racehorse that they cannot afford.
As we follow them through the obvious problems this will cause we also see their health, wealth and work prospects take a running jump into the ditch. As the film progresses you can see the end long before the final hurdle and for these feelgood films that is exactly what you want.
If you come from a working class background you can relate to the characters in Outside Bet, as you will know people like them or be one yourself; you will have heard the banter toing and froing across the pub table, seen couples argue before making up, seen friends fall on hard times and attend funerals of loved ones, and it is for those people that this film is for.
There are no surprises in Outside Bet; the cast are not asked to give more than a slow canter, and they all do their job admirably. It is an enjoyable little film that shows nice people getting lucky.
Check for details: www.outsidebet.com
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