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The Riot Club

2015-06-12 10:38

What it's about:

A band of over privileged rich boys run wild in this savagely funny satire of money, sex and power.

In the elite realm of Oxford University, no society is more exclusive than The Riot Club, the ultra-selective fraternity for Britain's most privileged sons. When he's recruited to join, down-to-earth first-year student Miles is amused at first—but he’s about to get a taste of upper-crust entitlement at its ugliest when a hedonistic night of drinking and drugs spins out of control.

What we thought:

I was excited to watch The Riot Club mostly because I’ve always secretly wanted to study at Oxford University. The mix of British aristocracy and academic excellence has always flared up romantic illusions of Harry Potter-like fantasies.

The trailer for the film hinted at a Fight Club type underground darkness that contrast sharply with the grandeur we’ve come to associate with Oxford.

I was hoping for a bloody mess wrapped up in a tuxedo and a top hat. Although visually satisfying The Riot Club never fully tips over to the edgier side that would have made it an undeniably sexy movie. Most of the sex appeal of the film oozes from its lead actors immaculately cast in their roles as privileged spoiled brats who haven’t earned their riches at all.   

The main plot of the film centres around one specific night in the lives of the boys that’s eerily reminiscent of the highly publicised Waterkloof 4 murder. When unearned wealth mixes with entitlement and never-ending amounts of cash – trouble is sure to follow.

The scenes leading up to the final feast feels scattered, short and rushed. Although visually appealing and cinematically well-executed it lacks coherence ultimately influencing the flow of the film and creating a staccato effect that contrasts sharply with the fluidness of the climatic finale.

Riot Club fails in that it hates its own spoiled leading hunks so much that it makes it absolutely impossible for the viewer to feel any connection to the events or the consequences there of. Director Lone Scherfig, who also directed An Education, missed the ideal opportunity to force the film into a more modern gritty movie with a darker undertone.

Although it lacks oomph the film is still very much watchable thanks to its handsome leading cast.

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