Idris Elba’s much-anticipated debut as a director arrives in cinemas this week. Yardie, which had an early showing at Sundance London, is based on Victor Headley’s novel of the same name and follows in the footsteps of legendary gangster movies – but with one important difference. It’s set among the Jamaican community, initially on the island itself and then in 1980s London.
D (Aml Ameen) arrives in the city to lie low after some trouble at home but, having seen his brother murdered as a result of gang warfare, he’s an angry young man with a score to settle. And he discovers that the man who pulled the trigger on his brother is in London as well.
While Elba brought together a cast of mainly unknown names his leading man, Aml Ameen, is more familiar from his role in The Maze Runner, one which he tells Flickering Myth’s Freda Cooper helped pave the way to his role in Yardie – as did meeting Elba in a lift. Both he and co-star, Shantol Jackson, talk about their director’s emphasis on authenticity in the film, from shooting on location in Jamaica to making sure their accents were completely accurate. And Jackson has definite views on why her character doesn’t follow in the gangster movie tradition of passive women.
Yardie is released in UK cinemas on Friday, 31 August. Read our review here.
Freda Cooper. Follow me on Twitter.