Jim O’Hanlon’s soapy but affecting drama 100 Streets takes place within one square mile of London’s Chelsea and Battersea districts — though the legendary Battersea Power Station sadly does not make an appearance. It follows three primary characters from differing social strata as they go on about their individual but occasion- ally intertwined dramas. Max (Idris Elba) is a former rugby star estranged from his wife, Emily (Gemma Arterton), and children due to his tomcatting, alcoholism, and drug abuse; Kingsley (Franz Drameh) is a low-level drug dealer and promising writer trying to make a non-criminal life for himself; and George (Charlie Creed- Miles) is a cabbie whose efforts to adopt a child with his wife, Kathy (Kierston Wareing), are waylaid when he accidentally kills a pedestrian while swerving to avoid a careless bicyclist. The most touching relationship proves to be Kingsley and his unexpected mentor, the Nina Simone-loving cemetery caretaker Terence (Ken Stott) — who is, by far, the wisest graveyard worker since Hamlet. The very British 100 Streets makes its subtext text to the extent that it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the words “Director’s Message” flash on the screen, but it’s always a joy to hear Elba using his native accent, even if certain other accents get so thick that Trainspotting-style subtitles would come in handy.
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.