The Riot Club | Surprising, clever and bittersweet

Based on Laura Wade’s play Posh“, adapted to the silver screen by Lone Scherfig. The Riot Club stars Max Irons, Holliday Grainger, Jessica Brown Findlay, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth.

Premise: Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.

Review: The riot club is the first movie that I went to see this year and it did not disappoint. The movie started off like a British comedy and I immediately felt ripped off because it wasn’t the movie I expected to see. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting but I can tell you that I did not except to feel so strongly about it. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. As much as it is unsettling, I like when a movie makes me uneasy, takes me out of my comfort zone. I might have felt like this because I only expected excess and debauchery like it was some sort of a classy American Pie movie.

The Riot Club has excess and debauchery but it goes deeper than that. there’s a slow build up and it tackles how these guys worship money, power, and how entitle they feel. It’s a movie that makes you think and feel, a visceral kind of emotions, the kind that made me want to get out of my seat and do something, but I didn’t because it’s a movie and it’s not really happening, at least not right at that moment.
Film is art and art is perceived differently depending on the time and the person, I understand that. The movie riled me up and was difficult to watch, not in a “it’s bad” kind of way it just got under my skin. The film was so powerful and clearly done that the worst of the bunch is first introduced as a sweetheart who I didn’t suspect to have such passion and fire in him however misplaced it may be.
A quarter to the end I was resolved to leave the theater with a bitter taste in my mouth, a feeling of injustice and I did, but at least it wasn’t as acidic as I taught it would be, it was bittersweet.

The characters are a bit stereotypical but the cast is top notch. Like I said it’s a slow build up and as time pass they get credible and intense, you’re in it living it. Of course some of them take more of the spotlight (Irons & Claflin) than the others but they were all very good. The meager female presence is striking, not only because their beauty in this sausage fest, but the up most talent they showed and how relatable they were.

The film is deep, clever, brilliant even in how the story is presented, developed and resolved. When I think back on it, it’s the best kind of negotiations where both parties leave a little disappointed. There is a side to take in this film but the story stays somewhat neutral.

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