On Monday I attended the Premiere of CASS, the dramatised life story of former football hooligan Cass Pennant. I’ve never been a great fan of hooligan films, although I did enjoy GREEN STREET, but more for the soundtrack than anything. Terence Jay’s ONE BLOOD is one of my all time favourite songs.
Anyway, I digress. I met the winner of the competition I rang and his girlfriend and also took a friend from work, who has never been to a football match in his life but does enjoy kick boxing. Somehow I thought he’d enjoy it. Having never walked down a movie premiere red carpet in my life I have to say I quite enjoyed the experience. The only celebrity I saw there was Frank Bruno!
The film started as it meant to go on, with a stream of abusive swear words in the first thirty seconds. Oh Christ, I thought, here we go. But I was soon hooked. And that’s how I know if I em enjoying a film. I have to be drawn in within the first five minutes otherwise my attention wanders and I keep looking at my watch.
I won’t rehearse the story here as you all know it. The heady mix of racial understones and ever present violence told a gripping tale. How much of it was real and how much of it was hyped up for dramatic effect is something Cass Pennant and his friends know.
Did it glorify violence? I’m not sure that’s the correct phrase. I guess in some ways the film tried to explain it, partly by blaming it all on Margaret Thatcher. Her appearance midway through the film slightly jarred, but perhaps I am not the most impartial commentator on that subject!
The film ends with our supposed hero seeing the error of his ways, but it all happened rather suddenly, like an epiphany. I haven’t read Cass Pennant’s books, but I’d bet that it didn’t quite happen in that way in real life.
The heroine of the film was Cass Pennant’s long suffering wife, who somehow stayed with him through thick and thin.
After we had left the cinema I kept asking myself if I would have enjoyed the film if I hadn’t suppprted West Ham? If I were an Arsenal fan, would I get it? And I still don’t know the answer. The box office figures will soon tell us.