'Festival' is a black comedy set during the annual Edinburgh Fringe festival. The film is based around both the judging of a major comedy award and the performers at one of the smaller ... See full summary »
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'Festival' is a black comedy set during the annual Edinburgh Fringe festival. The film is based around both the judging of a major comedy award and the performers at one of the smaller venues. Various plot strands interweave, including the bitter relationship between a famous self-obsessed British comic and his ever-suffering assistant, an actress debuting at the festival with a one-woman show about Dorothy Wordsworth and a depressed, rich housewife who spies on the stoned Canadian theatre troupe to whom she has rented out her house. Written by
The Edinburgh Festival deserves a film. It is a strange occasion in a great city, and huge numbers of people around the world have experienced it. It brings its own array of bizarre characters and situations, mixing them with the locals, and then takes them away again just as quickly, until next year when some of them come back for more. If that's not a recipe for some interesting comedy/drama, I don't know what is.
Unfortunately this film fails to hit the mark. It is structured quite well, and I liked the idea of following one venue through the course of its day. The overall atmosphere of the city is well-caught too, on the whole, and people who know Edinburgh in August will recognise it.
But its main flaw is lack of empathy. There are quite a lot of characters, some of whom are quite funny, but very few of whom are particularly likable and attractive. Those who are likable often lack authenticity, and everyone suffers from a lack of depth. The episodic plot is also patchy - some of the events that befall certain characters have nothing at all to do with the Edinburgh Festival and seem almost to have been put in as time-fillers.
To be fair, there are some funny moments and quite a few good lines. But put it this way: If it's on TV and not costing you anything, then by all means watch it. However, I paid £3 to rent it, and by the end I felt it wasn't really worth the money.
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