If Scotland ever produces a film equivalent of Reservoir Dogs the starting point must surely be Gagarin Way. It’s performance sweating with tension, frustration and violence.
Amid the dormant machinery of a factory at night, a group of men find themselves together – some by choice, others not – with what initially appears to be a simple robbery. It soon becomes apparent as the different characters reveal their motives, that there isn’t much of a coherent plan.
Each of them from Fife all share similar family pasts, yet express differing reactions towards the modernisation of the Fife economy. These range from nostalgia, hard headedness, intellectual thought and nonchalance, each logical in its own way. It’s intellectually a surprisingly nuanced and subtle beast, and avoids indoctrinating the audience. Such varying perspectives amidst the charged atmosphere of the factory floor leads to some excellent character development and acting.
Gagarin Way also has a thick seam of black humour running through it, leading one audience member to sit with a permanent nervous smirk on his face. Occasionally this would get wiped off, as the performance went from tense to the unbearable and life-threatening.
This is a theatrical rush with some exhilarating performances and a subtle and intelligent script.
* * * *