In ANTON CHEKHOV'S THE DUEL, escalating animosity between two men with opposing philosophies of life is played out against the backdrop of a decaying seaside resort along the Black Sea ... See full summary »
Written by and starring Jo Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine, co-creators of the BAFTA nominated Getting On, Puppy Love is a story of love, dogs and the love of dogs. Set around The Wirral-based... See full summary »
Hardly intelligent, responsible or clever but a broadly amusing kicking for the Labour government
If you believe what you read, this film is based on reality. David Blunkett was the Home Secretary, responsible for bringing in a regime of terrorist legislation that would even make a right wing conservative blush. When he started having an affair nobody was that concerned because that is what politicians do. However when he gets the woman pregnant things start to go wrong his judgement gets impaired and soon he finds himself increasingly compromised politically.
Although it is very clear that massive amounts of this have been fictionalised, the basic truths are funny enough because it does seem that Blunkett got himself stuck in some sort of honey trap and being manipulated by journalist Kimberly Quinn. This film takes these events and creates a sad little man who falls in love with someone who doesn't love him and finds himself emotionally out of control. This is amusing in itself although the words "fair" and "balance" don't really figure at all. The film uses this entry point to mock the entire Blair government; showing Blunkett blindly (sorry) signing detention orders, Campbell and Blair presiding over fear tactics and lots of discussion of Iraq and such. The film will be like gold to those that dislike the current Labour government (an increasing number if you believe what you read) but also generally amusing because, no matter your politics, the Blunkett affair is a really messy and worrying affair.
The cast take to the broad caricatures well. Hill is a very good Blunkett, getting the mannerisms down well while also making a convincing little man. Lindsay's Blair is a bit more of an impression but mainly because he has less time. Mackichan, McQuarrie and Jennings are all amusing but again they are mostly cruel impressions. Hamilton is good, not sure how true to life she is but she is a good presence.
Overall this is quite a simple and cruel film that lacks the wit, intelligence and insight of good political satire but it is an amusing good kicking. Full of easy targets and delivered with lots of broad strokes, it is hardly very responsible but it is quite fun. Perhaps not enough to justify more than one viewing but it is OK.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?