Film review, YOU INSTEAD, from Built For Speed
As anyone who has attended the Big Day Out or even the overseas events like Glastonbury would attest, the outdoor music festival is a bizarre world unto itself: a chaotic collision of musical styles, seething crowds, freaky looking punters, disgusting food and more often than not, mud. You Instead, which was filmed amid Scotland’s T in the Park festival, perfectly captures that frenzied, grimy world but unfortunately plonks a poorly developed love story in the way of all the bands.
In one of the least believable scenarios in recent cinema, two vastly different musicians bouffanted electropop poseur Adam (Luke Treadaway) and grungy Morello (Natalia Tena), are handcuffed together after an altercation at the festival and can’t find the man (believe it not, gospel/ soul legend Al Green) with the key. Forced to share each other’s company in the mud, the crowds and the portaloos, Adam and Morello’s icy hatred for each other slowly begins to thaw. Meanwhile their various band mates and managers engage in unromantic trysts and drunken escapades around the festival.
From the moment the characters open their mouths and deliver their clumsy unfunny, dialogue we have the alarming sense that there’s something wrong here. It’s as if film students just dropped into the festival and awkwardly tried to improvise a love story. Consequently, the central romance between Treadaway and Tena never engages us emotionally.
You Instead has the dynamic but superficial style of a music video which is fine during the snippets of live performance from bands like Biffy Clyro and The Proclaimers but it makes it very difficult to connect with the characters. With some of the characters this would have been impossible anyway as their so irritating, particularly Adam’s goof-ball band mate Tyko (Matthew Baynton) and their oafish (poorly accented) American manager (Gavin Mitchell).
While the festival setting and the bands justify giving this film a look, audiences might be better off hoping for a DVD extra that just shows the bands and not the actors.
Nick’s rating: two stars.
Classification: MA 15+
Director(s): David MacKenzie
Release date: 12th July2012
Running time: 80 mins.