The Riot Club
Hey, you know how there’s some sort of class warfare thing that they do in Britain? Well, so do the people behind The Riot Club and they sure are pissy about it. Perhaps I’m being unkind. It’s not a bad movie by any means. Just one that is very, very on the nose in its social commentary. Based on the play Posh and adapted for the screen by its playwright, Laura Wade, Riot Club spins a nasty little yarn about a particularly elitist club in Oxford. It’s comprised of only ten members at a time who are chosen because they’re particularly pretty, privileged, and from a wealthy family stock. After graduation, they will help each other rule the country. For now, they get together for drinking dinners of infamous debauchery. The party depicted in the film starts with the introduction of new members ends in a bloody awful way with a lower class victim. Cue the cover up.
So, it’s a story of the wealthy dinks of England taking down the plebes and one that makes the point through a narrative designed to shock with language, violence, and blunt metaphors. It’s single-minded and direct in a way that feels very much like it was conceived as a play.
Former Dogme director Lone Scherfic (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, An Education) has an excellent sense of casting knows how to nurture out naturalistic performances from her impressive young cast, which helps soften the often overly pointed writing. She delivered dark, clever, and intriguingly made little movie, just one that might hammer its tired, old points about the power of privilege a bit too hard for some. (Phil Brown)
Sunday, September 7, 11:30am, Visa Screening Room (Elgin)
Saturday, September13, 8:00pm, Winter Garden Theatre