Ageing drag queen Jackie (Derren Nesbitt) receives the shocking news that he’s got terminal cancer and not very long left to live. As he processes that information, Jackie goes about his life and continues to perform at a drag bar. One night he helps young queen Faith (Jordan Stephens), a gender-non conforming individual estranged from their family, following a violent confrontation with some homophobic men. The two form a fast and unlikely friendship and help one another in different ways.
Tucked by writer/director Jamie Patterson gives you the impression that you’re going to be treading over well-worn clichés for 80-minutes when it first starts, but it quickly becomes something quite wonderful that you won’t expect. Jackie grieves for his deceased former wife and the absence of his daughter in his life while Faith is determined to push forward in life without a family to fall back on. Faith moves in with Jackie, who offers a place to stay, and it’s quite heartwarming watching their friendship develop.
It’s established early on that although Jackie enjoys dressing as a woman, he doesn’t identify as gay, something that caused his family anguish and has made his life substantially more difficult. That’s a little curveball I wasn’t expecting and it just goes to show how we make snap judgements about people based on the limited information we have when we first encounter them. Following his diagnosis Jackie is determined to carry on as normal but Faith wants him to get more out of his final days.
Perhaps where the film falters slightly is that there is much more story to be told than the film is able to in just 80 minutes. This becomes particularly evident in the final 10 minutes and I really would have liked the film to be longer so I could spend more time with these delightful and complex characters.
Derren Nesbitt is nothing short of exquisite as Jackie. He has this unique ability to get you on side with just a smile and you definitely root for him throughout the film. You admire Jackie’s bravery in the face of a dire diagnosis and your heart melts a bit when you see him establishing the relationship with Faith that he was never able to have with his own family. Rizzle Kicks star Jordan Stephens is also magnificent, giving a feisty performance and further cementing his rising star status.
Tucked made me feel a whole range of emotions. I was happy, I laughed and I shed a few tears, which actually surprised me. I went all in with these characters and when you see the film, you’ll realise it’s hard not to do the same. Tucked is a sensitive, warm, funny and engaging film that is full of heart and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy.
Cast: Derren Nesbitt, Jordan Stephens, April Pearson Director: Jamie Patterson Writer: Jamie Patterson Certificate: 15 Duration: 80 mins Released by: Bulldog Film Distribution Release date: 17th May 2019