Review – EIFF 2013 – We Are The Freaks


Film: We Are The Freaks

Director: Justin Edgar

Production: 104 Films

Writers: Justin Edgar

Cast: Jamie Blackley, Sean Teale, Mike Bailey, Michael Smiley, Rosamund Pike

Screen Dates: Sat 22 June 21:00 Cineworld Sun 23 June 13:00 Cineworld

Rating: 4/5


Perhaps one of the joys of film is that many will differ, quibble, and argue to the point of bloodshed of what makes a good film or what is a good film. We Are The Freaks is a film that will test a few peoples boundaries and have that Marmite effect but for me it’s one of the best British comedy films in ages.

Set in the early 90’s, it starts off with lead character, Jack, Jamie Blackley, telling the audience what he doesn’t like, which is quite a few things, exemplified by comically shooting a Goth, so it might already lose a few audience members early on, but most importantly doesn’t like how in the American teen movies how the guy always gets the girl. We Are The Freaks is set around three unlikely friends and their one night of escapades of drink, drugs, death, sexual injuries and romantic misadventures. The story is centred round Jack, Jamie Blackley, a likable lead bound to the constraints of poverty and a dead end job, Parsons, Mike Bailey (excellent), is repressed by his overbearing parent for failing his studies and also finding himself attractive to Margaret Thatcher, Chunks, Sean Teale, is an anti-authoritarian punk abusing the privilege of having rich spoilt divorced parents, taking his step-dads brand new Porsche 911 in the process.

It will come apparent that the film is deeply flawed, partially because of its stance as an anti-teen movie. Because of this refusal to build a story that is coming of age, you might be left feeling empty, giving the lack of closure from each of the characters. Jack is also a bit meek as a main character in comparison to his fellow friends and the pace might be a little slow for some people.

However, it’s a film I will defend passionately. It’s one of the few British features I’ve seen in a long time that looks cinematic and feels escapist; it looks polished accompanied by a great nostalgic soundtrack. It is as though each scene has been well constructed to embody some form of imaginative flair or quirkiness. It also gets the best out of Michael Smiley who plays a psychotically drugged up hard Irishman, who takes a warming shine to Parsons, Rosamund Hanson who plays Parsons girlfriend pulls off a wonderful character performance, which all adds up to being one of the funniest British films with a sense of authorship that I’ve been pining to see for a very long time. There might be a few people panning this, but they are probably the sort of people who have never made a film and don’t understand how hard it is to make a film for buttons. And because of that, I say to Justin Edgar, take a bow Sir.


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