Cal, an 18 year old Scally lad and gang member has nothing in his life except drugs, sex, random acts of violence and a secret that he keeps hidden from his mates. An online hook up for sex with a stranger, temporarily satisfies but fails to dampen his unspoken desires for his best mate, Jonno. Nessa, their twisted, foul-mouthed and controlling gang leader, suspects that there is something going on between them but she can’t put her finger on it. Jonno, putty in Nessa’a hands, can’t express his own deep rooted and unrequited attachment to Cal. Manipulating situations that bring her closer to having her suspicions confirmed, Nessa sets out about dividing loyalties and encouraging conflict.
For no good reason an innocent student, Olivier (19), falls victim to one of her plans and is mugged on her orders by the gang. Cal steps in to restrain them and creates a distraction allowing Olivier to run free. Ignoring Nessa’s screams of contempt, he chases after him and offers him a lift by way of an apology. Fearing that the fall-out from Nessa for his actions will be harsh, Cal persuades Olivier to help him out. Seizing the moral high ground and sensing that there was something more to Cal’s good samaritan act, Olivier allows Cal to stay with him for a few days.
Acting on his own attraction to Cal, Olivier seduces him and in doing so, exposes Cal to new emotions and a tenderness that he has never experienced before. Very soon they are overtaken by the embrace of the first flush of love.
Nessa can’t contain her rage for Cal’s disloyalty to the gang and sets about hunting him down, intent on destroying him once and for all. With her gang in tow and Jonno tightly wound up, she kidnaps Olivier, taunting Cal with video messages via her mobile phone, to come and save his boyfriend.
Arriving at the abandoned factory where they are all waiting for him, Cal squares up to Nessa and Jonno. As the showdown unfolds, Nessa loses all control of events and Jonno explodes in act of sexual aggression that leaves no one unscathed and everyone traumatized. Shocked by what she has witnessed, Nessa realizes she will now never be able to break the bond between Cal and Olivier. –TLA Releasing
Shank is a powerfully modern drama showing the fine line between what it means to have a reputation vs. what it means to find real love and the harsh denial that comes with it. Also touching on issues of discovering one's sexuality through shady means, but ideally leaving a message of what it means to hurt somebody while maintaining the heart, dignity and kindness when the person who hurt them is hurt themselves.