DIR: David Mackenzie • WRI: Thomas Leveritt • PRO Gillian Berrie • DOP: Giles Nuttgens • ED: Jake Roberts • CAST: Luke Treadaway, Natalia Tena, Mathew Baynton

David Mackenzie’s romantic comedy was shot over 5 days during Scotland’s T in the Park music festival. Two made-up popular music people from two made-up pop combos cross paths and their initial hatred for each other is fated to become love.

Adam (Treadaway) the singer in synth-rot band Make, who are headlining the festival, bumps into, and argues with, Morello (Tena), the lead singer of Riot grrrl outfit The Dirty Pinks, who are there to perform in the up-and-coming tent. They get handcuffed together by a passing preacher (erm…), who bangs on about peace and disappears, and are forced to spend the next 24 hours conjoined. The resulting romance is as predictable as a Retro ’80s music CD album.

Mackenzie uses hand-held cameras in an effort to capture the raucous festival atmosphere. Most of the film is shot backstage in VIP areas and the thrill of drunken teenagers, hipster space cadets and muddied mobs never spills onto the screen. There’s no sense of energy – either to the festival or the romance that ensues between the leads. One is an impotent backdrop to the flaccid other.

The film isn’t helped at all by the strained acting, unlikeable characters, hackneyed dialogue and tiresome non-plot. Adam, the pompous, preening popstar is a strained mix of clichés, and Morello’s gobby arrogance is quickly undermined as she is tamed by love, and soon enough there’s a Rocky-like scenario of coupling at a crowded event. It all adds up to a film with all the charm of a well-used portaloo.

You Instead… go watch something else instead.

Steven Galvin

Rated 15A (see IFCO websitefor details)

You Instead is released on 16th September 20111


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