Robbie Burns is Scotland's national poet; he had an extraordinary life and lived in interesting times and there is, somewhere, a good film to be made of his life. Unfortunately this rambling, confused, over-long and badly directed shambles is not it. There are two main faults with this film. The first is the script which is stuffed full of import plot point delivering dialogue served up in full-on "As you very well know..." mode by characters who appear, declaim how important they are to the story, and then disappear again before you've registered their name. It's all over the place, full of secondary plot lines which go nowhere, scenes which do nothing, and dialogue which either assumes a close knowledge of the Burns' life and times, or demonstrates a clear inability by the writer to tell us about those times without delivering classroom lecture notes (when all else fails, a all-knowing Voice Over fills the holes in the narrative). The second major problem is the direction which, once you have swallowed the shallow attempts at supposedly cool and trendy modern ADHD cutting, is rank amateur. Most of the entertainment I got from this film was gained by waiting to see how long into a scene we got before the director crossed the line and pointlessly flip-flopped his characters from one side of the screen to the other and back again. Occasionally he managed to get through a scene without doing this - but only by backing his actors against a wall.
Fighting all this, the actors manfully do their best with variable success. Michael E. Rodgers copes well with some awful lines and Lucy Russell does some Stirling 'cuddling a well-wrapped doll because we can't afford a real baby' acting at one point, but even they couldn't rescue some scenes - particularly the one where she confronts him about his latest infidelity's pregnancy, a scene which sank to sub daytime soap opera levels of badness.
Another very long, totally wasted, 101 minutes that I will never get back.
Incidentally the only other review of this film (since deleted) was written by someone who has only written one review. This is a standard shilling trick used by self-promoting no-hopers. So I would guess that whoever wrote it was, somehow, involved in the making of this film.
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