The Riot Club

the riot club
DIR Lone Scherfig  • WRI: Laura Wade • PRO: Graham Broadbent, Peter Czernin • DOP: Sebastian Blenkov • ED: Jake Roberts • DES: Alice Normington • MUS: Kasper Winding • CAST: Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth

Oxford University, a prestigious English University where the top brains of the country go to expand their minds, gain valuable degrees and join elite clubs with the primary focus of causing utter havoc.

The Riot Club is an historic Oxford club where the wealthy and brightest minds come together to carry on the tradition of Lord Riot, a historic campus miscreant.

It’s first year induction time and the Riot Club are short a member. To make the full complement, freshman Miles (Max Irons) is invited to join this group of debauchery. What ensues is a wild array of drunken parties, vandalism and utter chaos.

The Riot Club is one of those films that will certainly divide opinion and in all honesty, I’m still not really sure what to make of it.

It’s full of characters that are incredibly unlikable. In fact they’re so unlikable that they actually make the audience despise them. It’s debauchery and excess at its very lowest. Unlike Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street the tone in this film is dark and almost feels subhuman.

There’s a dark undercurrent throughout and it is almost uneasy to watch but here is where you have to give credit to the direction of the film and the quality of acting from all involved. Slimy, manipulative and sleazy acting which is so believable that it’s almost a begrudging respect and admiration for the roles these young actors play.

Only for Miles’ character there would not be a sympathetic human aspect to proceedings but his character is important to bring the audience back to a sense of reality.

The Riot Club is a film that Sigmund Freud would be proud of. A look into the dark recesses of the mind that explores the sick and depraved actions of young wealthy men who think they can extinguish their violent flames with mounds of money.

It’s a good film but is not easy viewing by any stretch of the imagination but is worthy of a recommendation despite the dark undertones.

Shane Saunders

16 (See IFCO for details)

107 minutes

The Riot Club is released 19th September 2014

The Riot Club – Official Website

 

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