Saturday 25 April 2009

City Rats. Notes From The Premiere.

Film Premieres are strange things. When you see the beautiful blonde models with giant breasts going around smiling at everyone, you wonder if they were there at 3am on day twenty three of the shoot. My guess is that they weren't, but I shouldn't judge.
I'll be honest; I didn't enjoy the movie. And judging by this morning's reviews, neither did a lot of people. But I don't want to be too harsh on a film that was put together by two first time feature producers - and the first features from the Writer and Director. Obviously, the fantasy is that the first film you make is your Reservoir Dogs, your Clerks. But that is rarely the case. Especially, it seems, in the UK.

So I view this film from two points of view. The first being the massive achievement of a team of highly productive young filmmakers, and the second point of view is of the film itself; which was sadly quite poor.

In the Q&A the Director, Steve Kelly, talked about the attempt at an unusual narrative structure, and how the stories don't necessarily link up but they do add something to the others. Although that may have been the idea, on screen it didn't come together. Danny Dyer is appealing on screen, as always; but pretty soon you realise how one-dimensional his acting style is. You get one emotion from him.

One thing that must be recognised is how beautifully shot the film is. Adam Levins visual style is breathtaking. Rarely have some of the grimier parts of London looked so breathtaking. This is one of the best films I've seen about London, visually speaking. In that respect, I like the film; it sets a tone which is marked by the visuals, the music and the mood of the characters. However, in terms of the story and the characters it falls very flat. It's impossible to care about the characters. The one story that was handled really well was of the two brothers and their quests to deal with their sexuality. But this was ruined at the end when one of the brothers suddenly left behind his autism to show an emotion which, realistically, he wouldn't be capable of -- and it ruins the moment.

Overall; congratulations to Dean Fisher and William Borthwick for putting together a stylish looking film -- and I am confident their future endeavours are going to be an important part of the film industry. The down side with City Rats was the screenplay itself. The Writer and Director beamed with self-importance, as did the actors, at their piece of art. But unfortunately for the viewers - we all left without finding the art they all spoke of.

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