Film reviews

It's All Gone Pete Tong, Dir; Michael Dowse, Cert; tbc

Fact or fiction? A 'Spinal Tap' for club-heads? Before attending the screening of this movie, I prepared limited research to allow me a little insight into this new film from writer and director; Michael Dowse. Unfamiliar with his previous work, I discovered that Michael started his documented activity in 1999 with the screenplay 'Looking For Leonard' and following several projects; 2002 saw the release of the much lauded film 'Foobar' - "Headbangers Terry and Dean explore the depths of friendship, and the art and science of drinking beer like a man." Ok so get the picture this filmmaker appears to have his feet planted firmly in the field of popular culture and although no different this current affair is somewhat slicker than that I've so far seen of 'Foobar'.

'Slicker'! Where do I get off describing 'It's All Gone Pete Tong' as merely slicker! This movie is life affirming, the film's maker has got so much into this film, shrink wrapped and placed on a shelf at the supermarket it would be set to burst! In this film it's like the camera has done a 'line' before it starts filming. Everything is so exhilarating, yet explores the depths of despair that our central character finds himself, if placed in a theme park this film would be the most reputed attraction, with the longest queue waiting to board. Paul Kaye, he who will always be remembered for his portrayal of the stomach churning Dennis Pennis takes up the role of Freddie Wilde - a god on the Ibiza circuit. Frankie is a DJ who is heading rapidly toward deafness and a DJ without the ability to hear is surely a spent force?

This is a fact that is made perfectly clear as Frankie's trophy wife, model/actress and good looking bird who's six eggs short of a dozen, 'Sonja', played by actress Kate Magowan, (Yvette Wilson in 'Twenty Hour Party People'), deserts the sinking ship, after sharing an openly free relationship with Frankie and his numerous other interests. But Paul's starring support goes to Max Haggar for his portrayal of 'Mike Wilmot', manager and "Jewel of Boca Raton" who is seen to discard Frankie like you would a used handkerchief. But not before delivering countless classic lines in the role, like the one where he described a dream in which "...I didn't have a large cock, this time I had a normal sized cock, but no fucking spine.." - get where this was going?

The film was chock with moments such as this, so perhaps best not take your gran, but the recurring image was that of Frankie trying to overcome his cocaine habit and one in which I felt the writer had pulled off a splendid job in doing so. We travel highs and lows on this journey, you'll laugh, you'll cry, but just as you felt the end was near, the movie changed gear and took us in a different direction, accompanied as always by an awesome soundtrack.

I saw 'Spinal Tap' in 1986 when I was 15 or 16 and this changed my whole outlook. I won't say this will do the same (I like to think I'm older and wiser this time around), but it had that feel, the feeling of wanting to be there, to travel this whole journey, again and again. As the credits rolled to a close and the lights in the theatre went up, I could quite easily have sat through a second showing, I remember thinking this. So when I say, no matter from where you identify yourself, you've got to see this film, I mean it with every ounce I have in myself. 10/10


Nick James


Odeon Online

 

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