|Review: You Instead|
|Written by Ivan Radford|
|Wednesday, 14 September 2011 10:29|
Director: David Mackenzie
Sunglasses, low-cut top, guitar, big hair. Adam's just another trendy musician at Scotland's T in the Park. But there's something different about him. It's not that he's played by the talented Luke Treadaway. It's not even that his titular song, which bookends the film, is rather catchy. It's that he's probably the only man in the world who doesn't want to be handcuffed to Natalia Tena for 24 hours. Which, as luck would have it in this crazy, rock-and-roll world, is exactly what happens.
There's no way to dress it up. As a premise, it's more contrived than an ITV gameshow. So director David Mackenzie does the sensible thing and gets the set-up out of the way in a few brief minutes. The rest of the film is spent warming to our odd couple of Adam (Treadaway) and look-at-me-I'm-a-feisty-girl Morello (Tena).
It admittedly takes some time. But after 20 minutes of tolerating the obvious plot, the festival vibe really kicks in - most of all during a dingy gig halfway through, which sees Morello's band (The Dirty Pink) hijacked by Adam, who mashes up their song with Tainted Love. It's a clever piece of composition that makes up for the rest of the writing with a spontaneous flash of energy. From that point on, you're hooked.
David Mackenzie's guerilla approach probably does away with half of the screenplay to capture the atmosphere of the yearly event. Mud, noise, booze - it's all the fun of T in the Park without having to go to Scotland. It's an environment that allows Tena and Treadaway's natural charisma to really shine through. Even Mathew Baynton's geeky sidekick gets a look in ("I'll sign my name backwards so you can read it in the mirror!" he shouts, scribbling on a girl's tits with a marker pen).
It's utterly predictable and slow to start but once the tempo builds, You Instead sweeps you along as the couple develop an inevitable emotional bond. By the end, you'll be cheering on Adam's band with the rest of the live crowd. And wanting to stay handcuffed to Natalia Tena for another 24 hours.
It's no musical masterpiece but You Instead's winning tune will get your toes and heart tapping.
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