My name is Leon (BBC2) is a nice and sweet piece. Probably too cute and sweet to tell the truth completely.
This 90-minute adaptation of Kit de War’s novel, set in the 1980s, is a tier jarker about a little boy away from his mother and brother. But it’s also about Birmingham’s racism, which rioted in the summer of 1981.
The tier jerk part works like a clockwork. However, I hesitate to do the rest, and I feel that I am half-finished due to lack of power.
10-year-old Leon – a wonderfully natural performance by rookie Cole Martin, a real discovery – lives with his mother Carol (Poppy Leaf Flyer) and his beloved brother Jake.
Children have different fathers. Leon is a mixed race. Jake is as white as his mother.
When Carol falls into alcoholism and depression, Leon effectively becomes Jake’s caregiver, feeding him, changing diapers, waking up in the middle of the night and crying.
The situation got worse, the house had little food (Leon’s breakfast was one dry Weetabix), and Jake had no clean diapers. Paniced Leon knocks on the door of his neighbor when he can’t awaken his mother from stupor.
Social welfare is called and the boys are sent to live with veteran foster parent Maureen (Monica Dolan). Maureen is a very kind and loving woman, she is a virtually wingless angel.
Maureen loves children, feeds them with bacon sandwiches and curly warlies (she seems to hide endless supplies in her purse), and gives them a warm Christmas that unhappy mothers can’t.
But when Jake is adopted, Leon learns his first subtle lesson about racism. Many couples are happy to bring a white baby, but not many want a 10-year-old mixed-race boy. Nevertheless, he vows to meet Jake again someday.
When Maureen becomes ill and is forced to spend time in the hospital, Leon finds himself being taken care of by his sister Sylvia (Olivia Williams). With her serious and sharp tongue, Sylvia, where cigarettes appear to stick to her fingers, is not a glorious example of her mother’s instinct.
Leon finds comfort and friendship in the local Afro-Caribbean community, especially in a young men’s company called Tufty (Malakai Kirby). He plans with community assignments and becomes a boy’s brother / father / mentor.
Toughty teaches Leon how to grow things. He is also trying to open the boy’s eyes to the racist reality of being black in Britain.
“I’m more brown,” says innocent Leon gently.
“The people there, no matter what you think, they look black,” Tufty tells him. “You will understand soon.”
Leon learns immediately when police attack a civilian farm and violently arrest an activist called Castro (Leamore Mallet Jr.), Tufty’s best friend. Castro later died in custody, causing a riot in which previously uncommitted toughy led a front-line clash with police.
Leon gets caught up in it and is attacked by police before being safely shepherd by Tufty.
Lynette Lynton often shoots action from Leon’s eye level. This tells how the child perceives the world. However, it is not entirely clear how the audience perceives the drama.
My name is Leon It falls awkwardly between a sentimental coming-of-age story and something more crude.
It feels like the punch is being pulled. It is primarily immersed in a soft, summery glow, and the assignment is portrayed as a kind of sun-drenched idyllic.
The riot scene is strangely calm and bloodless. The characters that have begun to get messy-Sylvia and perhaps the Northern Irish called Devlin (Christopher Eccleston), who is probably a racist-have a golden heart in the end.
Lenny Henry, who made the drama for the company, has a cameo as a wise elder, so he might not want to be there.
It ends in a warm and fuzzy scene where Leon, Maureen, Sylvia and Toughty have dinner together – just one little happy family.
My name is Leon I went to BBC 2 for a 9 pm show and it feels like something was made to show up an hour ago, probably on a bank holiday, as seen by family spectators.