Catch Me Daddy – the Wolfe brothers film debut

Posted on 6 March 2015
By George Heron
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Brothers Daniel and Matthew Wolfe are previously known for their music videos with Paolo Nutini and Plan B. Together they have written Catch Me Daddy with Daniel directing.

What a debut it is!

Laila (Sameena Jabeen Ahmed) is a British Pakistani girl in Yorkshire who is on the run from her father Tariq (Wasim Zakir). Her Scottish boyfriend Aaron (Connor McCarron) is on the run with her.

It is not made completely clear why, but having a non-Pakistani boyfriend and her rebellious ways may have something to do with it.

Tariq has got his son and his gang on the case with the aid of two white thugs Barry (Barry Nunney) and Tony played by Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot).

It is unlikely that you will know the majority of the actors as this film is street-cast. The Wolfe brothers wanted to go for as natural a feel as possible and put their candidates through their paces by manufacturing situations to provoke certain emotions appropriate to the script, like Barry’s aggression for example.

A lot of the dialogue was improvised. The editing further heightens the realism by cutting in and out at random points to capture pure moments that may not necessarily progress the plot but pad out the illusion of reality. The Pakistani actors mostly speak in their native tongue, which is used as subterfuge to their advantage.

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed is thoroughly captivating as the girl who wants to have a good time in peace. It is not her fault that her father feels a subjective shame for her that fuels a need for an honour killing.

When chase truly takes flight, the relative innocence of the original scenes having fun with her boyfriend (relative as Aaron was taking drugs) and playing with a child at work in the salon amplify the horrific situation Laila finds herself in. The trauma displayed by Ahmed is not overdone but is still powerful.

Laila’s dancing scene evokes Pulp Fiction with it being a similar style of music but is more about the enjoyment of life than a sexualised stand-off. The only other comparison of apparent influences could be made with Shane Meadows and his dark Yorkshire tales like Dead Man’s Shoes and This Is England. However, this is mostly a distinctive piece.

There isn’t a lot of violence, but the threat of it permeates the film with the aggressive talking of Barry and the coldness of the Pakistani gang. One scene involves muscle-bound Bilal carrying his baby around a shopping mall. A tender moment with his child paired with his menacing gait gives the resounding message that this is one tough guy who doesn’t need a pram.

The plot will not go where you expect it to. The ending is astounding. One of the best of recent times. You could not say that the Wolfe brothers’ bark is worse than their bite. With this and Duke of Burgundy, British film is looking stronger than ever.