Friday, 29 March 2013

Sightseers (2012)

Finally! In hiring himself out and selecting material written by someone else - in this case underrated comic actors Steve Oram and Alice Lowe -  Ben Wheatley has proved that he isn't just 'The Emperor's New Clothes' and that the genuine glimpses of talent he has previously shown can deliver, and how.

Sightseers is essentially Badlands meets Nuts In May. A truly black comedy that is astonishingly laugh out loud funny and in equal measure astonishingly chilling. 

As befits the piece, Oram's performance is one of many hues as on appearance a rather dull everyman harbouring a deadly psychological imbalance ("I just wanna be feared and respected. That's not too much to ask of life is it?") But it is perhaps Alice Lowe who steals the honours and the biggest laughs, presenting something that goes from genuinely naively funny to continuously complicit and  downright uncomfortable to watch.

Wheatley's kinetic and obstuse directorial style is more reined in here than it is in his previous film Kill List (still, a frustrating experience of near brilliance and downright irritating) and is employed to brilliant effect in capturing the landscape of Britain and setting the mood of each scene, be it sitcom or slaughter. 

Wheatley's finest without a doubt, but take a bow Edgar Wright and Nira Park doing the production honours and, of course, Oram and Lowe who, in writing and starring, should now take their deserved place amongst the likes of the Ayoade's, the Pegg's and the Coogan's etc whom they have previously played stooges and second fiddles too. 

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