Film Review: I Daniel Blake!

When it comes to movies set in the North East, I am all for watching them. So when a new one is realised I want to see it. I Daniel Blake is the recent one to join the list with Get Carter, Goal! and Billy Elliot. You could include Harry Potter too, as Harry’s flying class is filmed in Alnwick Castle and Prince of Theives too!

I Daniel Blake, is produced by Ken Loache who wanted to show what it’s truly like to be on benefits in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The main star of the film is Dave Johns a stand-up comedian from Tyneside, who makes the film feel more realistic even to us Geordies.

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I Daniel Blake is about a 59 year old man called Daniel who has an heart attack at work. As a result the doctors see him as unfit to work and he has to apply for benefits  which he is denied. It shows his struggle and his determination to get back to work.

In the mean time he friends a woman called Katie, (played by Hayley Squires) with two small children. They meet when she arrives to the benefits office a few mins late to her appointment. Daniel sticks up for her, and shortly they become friends. Katie has struggles as well, not been able to find work around school hours, she shop lifts and finds work in prostitution.

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One of the scenes you see her go to a food bank, where you see her open a can of peaches due to she is hungry. In this scene, you see how beneficial food banks are to society helping them each day. This scene made me feel emotional due to my own involvement with them, read here about my own food bank story!

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The famous scene as shown on the movie poster, is where he goes outside and grafftis the wall outside the benefits office. He tells the world he is human and shouldn’t be told what to do aka like a dog.

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Although the food bank scene, is a stand out moment for me, I think the main positive is the genuine positive relationship with Katie and her children. As the children have no father figure, Daniel is a widdow with no children. He goes around the house fixing problems and makes things for them out of wood.

This movie is a tearjerker and will get you from start to end. Shows reality of the benefits system and how some truly need it. Where others don’t need it and scam the system (in my opinion of course). Dave Johns and Hayley Squires play the characters so real, you could see them in that situation. The food bank scene alone, deserves the nominations it received this year.


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