Michael Dowse (UK, Canada 2004)
i had my fears about watching this film. i was reluctant because films like these (about downfalls) are very much like aggravating withdrawal symptoms - you have to be in a unique mood to be able to willingly sit through them. but i was rather surprised to find the film actually keeping clear of the bleakness (although very well-done, Trainspotting is my prime example of an incredibly rough 2nd act to sit through). what i found instead was a fantastic film that, although it does go through rough patches (including a very devastating storyline that stopped me dead in my tracks and got me doing some serious thiking [ about what, i can't say. i don't wanna spoil anything ]) is still an immense joy to watch. and rather than being depressing, director Michael Dowse makes you sympathize with the characters' tragic elements instead of punishing you over and over with them. Dowse does a superb job creating the feel of the film, but a lot of the credit has to go to actor Paul Kaye. he just came out of nowhere for me and did a spectacular job with the Frankie Wilde character. i can't pinpoint where he gets us to go along with him, because you certainly don't fall in love with the character (at least not in any obvious way), but his immersion is so complete and honest that you believe he is that guy. simply unstoppable. the Ibiza/electronic scene the story's set in also feels very sincere and not a convoluted representation of a hip culture. there's no turn-off like wanting to appear hip. but this film stays very much on the inside and i appreciated that. and the addition of a number of very prominent DJ's surprised the hell outta me and definitely eased me right into the flick. i can easily say that i was floored and astounded by the whole experience. a truly enjoyable ride. definitely one of my favorite surprises of the year and an incredibly easy recommendation. enjoy Frankie Wilde - this was a thoroughly enjoyable flick!
Posted by Sam | 3:52 PM