Charles Henri Belleville’s streamline adaptation of Simon Lewis’ Go, staring Robert Sheehan, is a fast-paced and gripping crime thriller
Jet Trash is Edinburgh native Charles Henri Belleville’s adaptation of Simon Lewis’ page-turner Go, which tells the intertwined stories of Lee (Misfits’ Robert Sheehan), Sol (Osy Ikhile, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation) and Vix (Sofia Boutella, Kingsman: The Secret Service) as they try to outrun psychopath and small time gangster Marlowe (Craig Parkinson, Four Lions), aptly named for Jacobean levels of tragedy, betrayal, sex and violence.
Belleville boils down the source novel’s globetrotting locations to create a dual narrative contrasting earlier events in a seedy London nightclub called Aqua, complete with pool and hot tub to highlight owner Marlowe’s sleaziness, and the tropical haven of Goa, where the trio are hiding from whatever went so wrong in London. This double narrative of time and location, creates maximum suspense and intrigue. The result is perfectly gripping for the film’s nimble 80-minute run time.
The seeming paradise of Goa turns into a neon, MDMA-fuelled party land by night, where mirror balls light up Lee’s dangerously seductive dreams of money and freedom in this sanctum away from England’s dreariness and his grief at the loss of his twin brother. Sheehan is pitch perfect as Lee. He’s a charming Jack the Lad who’s nothing but trouble, with enough heartfelt pain in his eyes to seduce Sol, Vix or anyone else into helping him out 'just this one last time.'
Jet Trash’s script is clever and witty, and Sheehan delivers its comedy with deadpan aplomb – remarking that the little mermaid is a point of reference for his masturbatory fantasies in order to 'keep it interesting' is typical of his bawdy, smart humour. Danger is always crackling underneath the laughs, however, as Sol and Lee must always be looking over their shoulders, scared of the wrath of Marlowe. Parkinson is terrifyingly convincing and remorseless, whether explaining human trafficking and forced prostitution as merely a case of supply and demand or holding a shotgun to a child’s head.
Fine performances propel Jet Trash throughout, with Ikhile masterfully understated as the long-suffering Sol and Boutella as a modern, feminist iteration of a painfully real femme fatale. There's also a great supporting performance from Rajendranath Zutshi (Slumdog Millionaire) as Shay, the boys’ landlord, who keeps the peace between the fun-loving 'jet trash' and the local Indians who only want their culture respected.
This tension can be seen through Shay’s henchmen, who, despite comically invoking Tarantino-esque bad guys, represent the terrifying and realist dark side of India as a party hot spot. Lee’s Orientalist fairytale dreams ultimately give way to a nightmare, and Belleville depicts his descent with Hitchcockian flair.
Jet Trash premiered at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival