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Interesting to a certain extent but overall a bit pedestrian
This, of course, is the biopic of Ian Dury who was one of the leaders of the British proto-punk/pub-rock scene. He would gain popularity in the late 70's and become a significant part of the new wave. It's probably best that I lay my cards out on the table early on and say that I can't claim to be much of a fan of Dury's music. He had a few fun tunes and his lyrics seem to have struck a chord but musically his material always seemed really pedestrian. I watched this movie to try and understand what he was all about and see if I could get to grips with what made him so respected. It was always obvious to me that he was at the very least an interesting character. His band Kilburn & the High Roads, for example, were perhaps the strangest looking group of all time and were the antithesis of rock and roll glamour. Having seen the film, I can't say I am any further forward in the Ian Dury appreciation stakes unfortunately.
He was stricken with polio as a boy which left him physically disabled. This made his life hard but it also instilled in him an inner fire to succeed. It was a big part in what made him ultimately successful. Andy Serkis plays Dury and it's a pretty committed performance it has to be said. But the character isn't really very likable or sympathetic. Maybe this was based on fact, although I really couldn't say. Either way, being in the company of Serkis's Dury is a bit wearing. For a biopic it's a bit on the plodding side. There's not really a massive amount to the story which doesn't help. I would have liked more attention paid to the Kilburn & the High Roads part of the narrative as I think they were maybe the most fascinating band Dury was a part of but I guess that is just a personal preference. Ultimately, though, this is decent enough. It's well acted with some fun period detail - get his son's mullet! and the recreation of the music is well done. But the character and music didn't do too much for me.
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