Is 'Svengali' Really The Funniest British Film In Years?

'Svengali' pulls together some of the most popular British actors and comedians for a film that satirises the music industry. At the centre of all this is Dixie, a postman from South Wales played by Jonny Owen who dreams of finding the next big band - until he does. What follows is a classic fish-out-of-water underdog story that sees our Dixie navigate the notoriously fickle music industry.

Svengali Vicky McClure Jonny Owen
Vicky McClure and Jonny Owens star in 'Svengali'

The film also stars Vicky McClure, otherwise known as the queen of independent British cinema. Having made her name in ‘This is England’ and the subsequent spin-offs, she is arguably the headline cast member in a long list of home-grown heroes. 

But for all the talent involved, does Jonny Owen’s film (he writes, stars and produces) hit the mark, or is it a failed attempt to capture a zeitgeist so successfully translated into cinematic folklore? Time to turn to the critics. 

More: check out pictures from 'Svengali'

Olly Richards from Empire Magazine kicks off our roundup, with a solid start. “It is refreshing to watch a film that draws together characters from across the British Isles in a way that is not only watchable, but reasonably well put together too,” he writes. “Its writer/star has the charm and warmth to keep this muso fairy tale on the tracks and there are entertaining spot-the-rocker cameos galore,” writes David Sztypuljak for HeyUGuys.

“The film is full of fun juxtapositions: Dixie’s alluring naivety and geniality contradicts with his dreams of following in the footsteps of the Svengali figures he admires – a theme that Owen follows right the way through,” says The Upcoming’s Theodora Munroe. “Then, there is the stark contrast of living in bohemian London with rural Britain: harsh and rich London compared with the warmth of impoverished Wales. And, lastly, the reality that comes of mixing ambition with love.”

Watch the trailer for Svengali

It’s a bit early to start giving the film Rotten Tomatoes ratings, given that its released at the end of the week (March 21). But the general consensus is that of ‘could do better’. It’s charming, funny and ‘watchable’, as the critics mention, but certainly won’t be a stand out picture in the annals of indie music-movie history.

More: 'Svengali' is a rock and roll comedy for musos.

More: Check out our Vicky McClure pictures gallery.


Contactmusic

Tags: Martin Freeman - Vicky McClure - Matt Berry


Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

"Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer" Reaches Viral Status: Most Watched Trailer Of 2014

If you’re not a Fifty Shades of Grey fan, that’s ok, apparently the...

Actors That Just Can't Stand The Sight of Each Other

Recently, Freddie Prinze Jr. revealed that he thought Kiefer Sutherland was ‘the most...

Actors That Just Can't Stand The Sight of Each Other

Introducing Magic, The Band Behind This Summer's Hit, 'Rude'

You've heard the song on the radio. People are humming it anywhere...

Introducing Magic, The Band Behind This Summer's Hit, 'Rude'

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj Link Up For 'Bang Bang' Single

What happens when three of the biggest names in pop music all have...

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj Link Up For 'Bang Bang' Single

Everybody Wants A Piece of Chris Pratt, Guardian of The Galaxy

It’s been a well-documented rise to fame for Chris Pratt – the guy who used...

Everybody Wants A Piece of Chris Pratt, Guardian of The Galaxy

The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014

The San Diego Comic-Con may be over but the buzz surrounding its contents is only just...

The Best Movie Trailers To Emerge From Comic-Con 2014
Advertisement

Sharks And Absurdity Descend On NYC In "Sharknado 2: The Second One"

As unfortunate as the idea of Sharknado 2 sounds, it’s happening. Let that...

Tara Reid - Sharks And Absurdity Descend On NYC In

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Scuffle

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber are reported to have clashed on a night out on the island of Ibiza...

Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Scuffle

Chris Martin And Gwyneth Paltrow Spotted Together At Film

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow were seen together at a movie screening on Monday...

Chris Martin And Gwyneth Paltrow Spotted Together At Film


More recommendations

Advertisement

Comments

Martin Freeman Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Martin Freeman

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All