|Index||6 reviews in total|
I had not read the Vanity Fair article, or had heard anything of this
story before I decided to watch this film. I actually watched it by
chance with no knowledge of what it would really be about and was
immediately sucked in to the story.
It has a great pace, but I'm a sucker for quiet, sometimes brooding, films. There are a few twists and the film keeps it interesting by exploring flash backs and fragmented time lines, this was a wise move otherwise the movie could have really fallen flat and come off as slow and boring I feel.
The acting is adequate, there will be no Oscars but my attention and suspension of disbelief were held well. I felt myself connecting with the leads, they captured my attention well which is not an easy thing to do so it added to my enjoyment.
While this film does have some flaws, I feel that it deserves a solid seven for the experience it delivers and I think it deserves that extra nudge for the fact that it is "based on true events".
Interesting to say the least, worth a watch.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
A film depicting the apparently true life story of Mark (Jaime Blackley) a popular, charismatic boy at school with an equally popular social life on the internet, who is asked by online friend Rachel (Jaime Winstone) to take her socially awkward brother John (Toby Regbo) under his wing. Mark finds himself explaining this in flashback to DI Clayton (Joanne Froggatt), whilst he has been placed under arrest for John's attempted murder, only to go on and explain the events leading up to this, which unravel an increasingly warped, deranged tale of fantasy and reality becoming horribly blurred.
This indeed dramatises events that occurred during 2003 in a suburban area of London. I remember a TV drama from some years ago about something similar that happened in Manchester, or maybe they've just swapped locations. Andrew Douglas, the man behind the Amytiville Horror remake, presents us this story that is a bewildering fact is stranger than fiction case whichever way you look at it, but has more relevance and believability in this day and age, where it sometimes feels like the internet basically controls everything. This in turn makes it all the more chilling, and makes you wonder just what dangers unfettered chat rooms could pose in future.
The film benefits from an unknown but solid and dynamic young cast, chiefly Blackley, who bears a striking resemblance to a younger Russell Brand, fitting in his role as the eloquent, dynamic young man, forming an odd double act with Regbo as his needy cohort. It's a small scale effort, and the constraints sometimes show through, but it tells it's baffling story with aplomb and has a solid young cast to carry it through. ***
I almost did not watch this. The story was slow to develop and I was not comfortable with the opening scenes. At the end I felt an emotional impact from the story and saw then how everything that preceded built up to the climax. Turns out to be a good story of youthful male bonding and a plausible story of a series of events misleading the innocent and gullible (Mark). A good story always makes the effort of watching thru an otherwise uninspired scenery (low budget?), low suspense, not a lot of action or Hollywood style attention grabbing scenes. A Hollywood movie could never get away with producing a movie just built on the story. Toby Regbo (John) did some affective emotional scenes, facial expressions were right on.
I'm familiar with two of the main cast (Toby Regbo of Reign and Joanne
Froggatt of Downton Abbey). It started off a bit slow for me, but it
got interesting after Mark heard the news about Rachel.
I did not know this movie is based on real events! It reminds me so much of Heavenly Creatures with Kate Winslet, but without the attraction between friends of course.
The twist at the end was totally unexpected. It makes you wonder how, as a movie watcher, you missed the signs that led to the ending. Overall, it's an enjoyable movie!
Fantastic actors, great plot.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What drew me to this movie was it looked like it had a weird love story
due to the trailer, as well as Joanne Froggat, who you may know as Mrs.
Bates from Downton Abbey. Not only that though, but it seemed to have
an intriguing villain, a dash of murder and, best of all, it was based
on a true story. With that mention, how could you not wanna see what
To begin, the leads for this film are Jamie Blackley as Mark and Toby Regbo as John. Mark is very much a popular jock, football being his specialty, and he seems very friendly. As for John, he is this weird kid who, thanks to a foreign step-father, is ostracized and considered the son of a terrorist. Alongside them is Joanne Froggatt's Inspector Sarah Clayton, who isn't written to make her different from any generic investigator; then there is Janet, played by Liz White, who is a MI5 agent; Jaime Winstone, as Rachel, a girl who plays a love interest to Mark trapped under her abusive boyfriend Kevin, who is played by Mingus Johnston; and that rounds out the main cast.
Now, the story for Uwantme2killhim probably benefits the most from the trailer, for reasons I won't mention. Things begin nicely though. We see Mark enjoying the spoils of popularity, including a girl named Zoey (played by Amy Wren) who uses him for sex, despite having a boyfriend. But then, assumingly in the pursuit of a relationship, Mark goes into a chat room and we discover he has a little cyber thing going on with a girl named Rachel. It is so serious that they have cybersex and he masturbates on web-cam, but you don't see her face. Things escalate and Rachel asks the favor of Mark looking out for her brother John, who is a strange little thing, and while Mark does so, Kevin takes over Rachel's avatar and seemingly with that, bye-bye Rachel. From there, we see Mark seem very much affected by the death of a girl he never physically met and this drives him to wanting to kill Kevin, and then MI5 get involved, and the story begins to make you question how many facts were used, and how much is artistic license?
Which is sort of the best part about this film. The trailer sort of misleads you, but it doesn't hurt the film by doing so. Instead, it adds onto the overall mystery and as things come together and Inspector Clayton starts piecing together the big mystery, you do feel a bit shocked. Also, you have to admire the performances in the movie for they really do help push things along and, with the writing, you don't feel the need to pause this and go off to do something else for a while, which I often do.
But, the negatives of the movie can be something which could be a deal breaker for some. For one, as things get dramatic, the film loses its believability. One example would be: who wouldn't be suspicious of someone never going on camera and all you have is a picture to see them by. I mean, common sense would lead you to believe that it could be some creepy person or kid messing with you. Also, upon them bringing in MI5, you begin to start wondering if the only difference between the NSA in America and MI5 in Britain is that MI5 will tell you when you messed up and will give you a warning. Still though, the amount you are expected believe makes that whole "Based on a True Story" tag seem like a lie.
Though the suspension of disbelief the film expects may test you a bit, I think it overall makes for a good movie to watch. The performances are good, writing full of trickery, and maybe if you pay attention to the details you'll get it, but then again maybe you won't. Also, with the tag of "Based on a True Story" being on there, it does make you wish you could learn more about the facts, but unfortunately the case is sealed. And yet, the writers got a hold of it... hmmm.
The story centers around two teenage boys Mark (Jamie Blackley) and
John (Toby Regby). In the beginning of the film we learn that Mark is
building an online relationship with Rachel (Jaime Winstone) in an open
chat room for quite some time, while Mark delves deeper into the
relationship he soon becomes introduced to others in the chat room as
well whom include Kevin (Mingus Johnston), Rachel's abusive boyfriend
and Janet (Liz White) who claims to be an MI5 agent. Upon Rachel's
request Mark also befriends John, Rachel's younger brother and who Mark
shares a class with. The two boys start getting drawn into this world
of online chat rooms, which eventually leads to one stabbing the other.
The audience is left with the question as too why and this is what
Detective Inspector Sarah Clayton (Joanne Froggatt) is also trying to
figure out through out the film. While she unravels the mystery of what
led up to the incident, the evidence brings to light that Mark wasn't
acting alone and that he was instructed to carry out an 'order'.
What really drives the film is the two actors Jamie Blackley as Mark was perfect for the role as the athletic popular jock as so was Toby Regbo as the awkward teenager that everyone at school picked on. The Movie plays up Marks fascination with his online relationships and the complications that come from it, you start seeing how much of an unhealthy effect it is having on his life outside of the internet and in today's generation i feel like in some sense some people can maybe relate too it. I loved the direction it was going and the pacing was good. To some it might start of slow but it works well with this type of film. The mystery elements adds to it and the atmosphere is nicely maintained til the end of the movie. Those unfamiliar with the story may appreciate the twists and those familiar will just need to be reminded it is loosely based on the true story but I for one was satisfied with the final product.
Overall I believe this movie is worth a watch if your looking for a mystery, drama, thriller, and a bit of a coming of age story.
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