Tuesday 7 October 2014

The Riot Club- film review

A film about posh boys- how could this possibly be the premise of a film- that was my initial reaction when I was first asked if I would like to see it. But it's posh on another level, it's the ugly side of posh carried on the shoulders of some very beautiful men. It's the sort of posh that looks down on schools such as Harrow boys school. Only Eton or Westminster for the best, of course. The boys that feature in this film are the sort that nobody can relate to. That was why I was so intrigued, I wanted a glimpse into this life that seemed so alien to me and in some weird way, I also wanted to take pleasure in hating their world.

So for those of you who don't know, The Riot Club is about an elite, secret society that is open only for the 10 wealthiest, most elite boys at Oxford university. They spend their time trashing dining events and lavishly throwing around their wealth. The movie starts with the arrival of first years, Alistair and Miles (Sam Clafin and Max Irons) and we follow them as The Riot Club puts them through the process of joining the club. Intelligence, wealth and status is what is required to bag one of the infamous spots. The film follows Miles' attempts to maintain a relationship with Lauren (Holliday Grainger) who is looked down upon as a 'commonor' whilst trying to live up to the expectations of the rest of The Riot Club.

The Riot Club originally came about as a play named 'Posh' and to me it has undeniable links to the infamous Bullingdon Club that has previously welcomed members such as David Cameron, Boris Johnson and George Osbrone- it feels good to know our country is run by men who were once happy to trash hotel rooms and then pay the extortionate repair fees, in cash! (note the sarcasm). The writer of the play however has refused to accept that the aptly named Riot Club was based on the Bullingdon Club. Regardless, the film was still an interesting insight into the life on an elite boy at Oxford, as someone who has never been witness to anything like it, I found it interesting and disturbing to watch them flitter money away as though it were nothing and trash property without a thought. Their treatment of women and anyone else them deemed beneath them was equally disgusting, and the worst part was that I have a horrible feeling that the film was actually on the tame side. How is it that the university that claims to take the most intelligent members of our society, can also be the breeding ground for an attitude towards life that is just plain wrong. Made worse by the fact that more often than not, these men then go onto hold extremely high powered positions, even going as far as becoming Primeminister or Mayor of London. Yep.

I actually thought the film was amazing, it is a brilliant example of how you can appreciate the portrayal of something you hate. The actors playing the members of the Riot Club did a brilliant job of making me hate them and I read somewhere that they even began to hate each other. They played their characters so well that by the end of it I found it hard to distinguish between the actor and the character. The female characters, although far and few between, were brilliant. Lauren, girlfriend to Miles, was the perfect example of someone who had got into Oxford through pure merit rather than off the back of a high profile parent. There attitude to money way disgusting- let me put it into perspective, one of the men, an owner of an incredibly expensive car, posted the keys through the letterbox of a charity after his friend was sick in it. How is it possible that a 20 or so year old can be so flippant about such a huge amount of money.

Overall I found the film disgusting and intriguing in equal measure. I thought the acting was brilliant and they all did a brilliant job of showing the corrupt nature of the elite at Oxford. It is a side of the university that has to be talked about, especially considering the link between the Bullingdon Club and figures such as David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

I would definitely recommend it even if it is just to get an insight into an incomprehensible world and failing that, you can just sit back and watch the likes of Douglas Booth and Sam Clafin on the big screen.


No comments:

Post a Comment