copyright: Leo Hidalgo - ileohidalgo, flickr.

Svengali review

Svengali, directed by John Hardwick in his first major motion picture is unlike other recent British Comedies: it isn’t too embarrassing, not to name any Kevin and Perry go Larges or Mr. Beans. The film has a very laid back atmosphere, with jokes that are actually funny and won’t make you cringe too badly. In short, it’s a triumph.

Multitalented producer, writer and actor Jonny Owen plays the leading role as a lovable Welsh man called Dixie who decides to move to London with his partner Shell (Vicky McClure), in order to follow his dream of managing a band.

The character of Dixie is a happy-go-lucky kind of person who appears to be somehow protected by his Tesco bag that goes wherever he goes, summing up his unusual personality. The character also appears to be stuck in his teen years; his costume being so early 90’s that the audience questions if he is perhaps wearing it to be ironic.

The film highlighted Dixie’s optimism despite his being surrounded by misfortune, and was more a journey about his realisation of himself than him trying to reach his dreams.

The soundtrack complimented the film very well, featuring a mixture of British Indie bands from ‘The Stone Roses’ to ‘The Coral’. This maintained the underground and beautifully British edge to the film, an edge that sets it apart from some of the mass-produced rubbish being churned out by Hollywood.

Hardwick’s casting of the film managed a mixture of popular stars and more unknown talent.  Appearances from Martin Freeman and Morwenna Banks were only short but managed to highlight the scenes they were in by making them especially memorable.

Alan McGee was also a real high point of the film, having managed bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream. His character is someone Dixie looks up to and the friendship they share gives the film a real feel good factor.

The bigger stars having smaller roles in the film defiantly helps keep the focus more on the narrative than the cast. Unlike Hollywood films which have an all-star cast, Svengali has stars such as Martin Freeman playing ridiculous shopkeepers which doesn’t take away from the story but rather adds an extra oomph of fun to the film.

Svengali has its own qualities with the unusual characters, the silly Tesco bag and Indie British music, which made it a much more refreshing film to watch than a lot of current blockbusters. The film leaves you feeling warm and happy due, in particular, to the new edgy style it has.

Image: Cinema seats © Leo Hidalgo (ileohidalgo, flickr)
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Keira Matthews
I am from London in England. I have just finished studying Film Studies, English Literature and Photography and will begin a degree in Film Studies in September. I am passionate about film and I really enjoy writing about it with Young Perspective because I am able to express my own opinions about something I have a real interest in and I hope to continue writing more about films in the future.
Keira Matthews

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