HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Beats Scotland The Rave
Year: 2019
Director: Brian Welsh
Stars: Cristian Ortega, Lorn Macdonald, Laura Fraser, Brian Ferguson, Neil Leiper, Ross Mann, Rachel Jackson, Gemma McElhinney, Amy Manson, Kevin Mains, Martin Donaghy, Ryan Fletcher, Stephen McCole, Josh Whitelaw, Davian Thomas
Genre: Drama, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Best friends Johnno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald) are dancing in their pants to rave music. They are in separate bedrooms, however, and Spanner is using the mobile phone of his brother Fido (Neil Leiper) to transmit the sound of his stereo across the ether to his pal. The year is 1994 and the place is West Lothian, Scotland, where the boys are keen to be part of the rave scene, or at least Spanner is, but have little idea of how to get there other than tuning into the pirate radio broadcasts of D-Man (Ross Mann) who plays the bangin' choons they love. When news reaches them of a major event nearby, just down the motorway that weekend, they begin to dream...

1994 was the year of The Criminal Justice Bill which saw raves banned thanks to legislation fuelled almost entirely by tabloid outrage, essentially banning fun, which was never a good way to police entertainment as the Video Nasties controversy would prove the decade before (and indeed in the nineties again, though that is another story). There were protests, the cops were brought in to stop the dancing, and those dancers attained a kind of outlaw glamour for a while, though really it meant the clubs became the preferred hangout for partygoers in the long run, but for the first half of the nineties, starting in the late eighties, there was a genuine youth movement in Britain.

This film was based on that time, drawn from a play by Kieran Hurley, who penned the script with director Brian Welsh, but preferred to depict a more romantic view of the scene once we finally got around to it. Before that, there was grit and grime (not grime music, that came later) on a housing estate as Johnno is encouraged away from his lower class friend whose family are notorious as a bad lot, though Spanner is not necessarily a bad kid, it's simply circumstances that have brought him down as he lives with violent criminal Fido. Now, the trouble with all this is, Trainspotting had been made, and made at the time when Beats was set, therefore authenticity may not be enough.

You may question how authentic it was, as the dance of the day was characterised by wacky samples, precious few of which you would hear in this: nobody starts grooving to Sesame's Treet or Roobarb and Custard, since they were in retrospect deeply uncool and going against the rose-coloured glasses the film was seeing the fashion through - even The Prodigy began to hit big with a sample of the Charley Says public information cartoons. If, on the other hand, you want to believe that doing the big fish little fish cardboard box (which we also don't see here) in a muddy field or a freezing warehouse was the most swooning and escapist experience available to you in the nineties, then knock yourself out, this movie was not about to break down your illusions, though oddly when it did get pretentious it was the better for it.

The ecstasy-fuelled reverie both our leads enjoy was contrasted with the misery in their lives that was never far away, and Welsh crafted a montage of Scottish imagery mixed with trippier visuals that may have you wishing he had indulged himself in this more, as it summed up the spirit of the piece even if it was not going through the minds of the original ravers at the time. To its credit, Beats was gleamingly shot in black and white by Benjamin Kracun with spots of colour to attract the eye every so often, though a low budget effort it belied that by looking better than it had any right to. The cast were fine, with Ortega balancing a glaikit expression with one of numb horror, depending on what he had to react to, though he would have done better if given more than that to perform, and Laura Fraser as his longsuffering mother would have viewers over thirty sympathising more with the parents than the kids, no matter what they thought back in the day. There were politics simmering beneath the surface, and a wavering attitude towards the police, but largely this was a modest project that dreamt big on nostalgia, fuelled by that particular Scottish pastime, swearing. Music (not the vintage tracks) by Stephen Hindman and Penelope Trappes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 513 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: