Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Cauty’

21st March
written by Mad Cow

United Kingdom, USA, France, directed by Arthur Cauty

Mad Cow’s Rating: three cowbells

In spite of my many trips to England, I have been shielded from the drinking culture described in this movie. (Either that or I’ve been in denial.) I associate drinking in Britain with “pub culture,” which this film is NOT about. Pubs are community meeting places where neighbors go to socialize with each other, and while some people get drunk in them every night, most do not. Here we see groups and mobs of young people at clubs and in the streets at festivals getting “pissed” (slang for drunk in UK). It’s clear that they go out for the purpose of getting drunk. Experts discuss the fallout from this behavior, the cost of the frequent violence associated with drinking (They don’t discuss rape, but I’m sure it’s frequent),  and discuss the fact that Brits drink way more than people on the continent do. Lives are lost via alcohol poisoning and liver damage, which is increasingly alarmingly among younger people. The actor/comedian Russell Brand talks about his addiction and recovery. An interview with Cauty’s uncle who is suffering greatly from alcoholism is painful to watch. Americans would do well to look closely at the film as “doing shots” becomes more and more popular in our country.

I would dub this film excellent but for a couple of things. Directors often get very self-indulgent and/or myopic about their films, fearing to leave out something important. Such an inclination produces repetition, which is abundant in this movie. It’s too important to have audience members checking their watches. Also, the film is interspersed with cornball 1950s elementary and high school clips warning against the dangers of alcohol. These are very amusing and provide nice comedy relief, but it was hard to see why they were included since their extreme cautions seem to make fun of the main message of the film.

I recommend the film, but be patient.

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