British Bad Boys (Movie Thoughts: The Riot Club)

Do we really need a movie about posh spoiled brats in University? Apparently so. I cannot remember the last time I was riveted by a movie as I was with “The Riot Club.” Written by Laura Wade based on her play “Posh,” the movie revolves around a group of ten young men who are members of a club loosely based on the Bullingdon Club, which is an Oxford University dining club. (The current British Prime Minister was a member) They are a rowdy bunch who dine and drink with fearless abandon, backed by their families’ wealth. Members of this club go on to such prestigious desks that they feel that while at college, they need to live their lives to the fullest because it’s their last chance of unsrcutinized fun. It looks like every single handsome young man in England was cast in this movie (the one hold out, Robert Pattinson, was part of the original casting) and their photogenic faces helps you (sort of) empathize with their characters even as they do the most despicable deeds. The meatiest part in the piece is of the fish-out-of-the-water character, Miles, played by Max Irons (Jeremy’s son)Playing the moral center of the piece, his does eyes help bring out an innocence and later corrupted state.  Directed by Lone Scherfig, this isn’t the subtlest movie – you are immediately faced by contrasting points of view even as you try to decipher who’s who and what’s what. A long dinner scene – the center piece of the play –  was the most fascinating part – you are instantly enthralled, amused, horrified, disgusted all at the same time, with each emotion overlapping the other that you don’t have time to catch your breath. I am a certified Anglophile and I had a ball trying to decipher the accents and placing specific Oxford locales. And Douglas Booth is a dreamy and soulful actor – I bet he will be the next best Hollywood thing. This film is highly recommended.

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