LE DONK & SCOR-ZAY-ZEE

Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee
d. Shane Meadows / UK / 2009 / 71 mins
Viewed at: Screen 1 @ Cinema City (Norwich, UK)

I can see what Shane Meadows and producer Mark Herbert are doing here, and I admire the the concept behind their ‘5-Day Feature’ project, but I just don’t think Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee works. Sure, it was mildly entertaining – and hey, it didn’t invoke any vitriolic anger or suicidal tendencies – but it suffers from a severe bout of mockumentaryitis, flitting between those moments that are neatly scripted, and those that are clearly improvised and (more often than not) achingly unfunny.

Considine is as excellent as ever, milking the unhinged menace of a typical layabout, whose over-dependence on drink and drugs in the past has left him bitter, irrational and aggressive. Similarly, Meadows handles the whole charade capably enough, proving once again that there is no doubt that these are two extremely talented guys. And yet there is just something missing. It simply fails to rise above it’s own existence as a made-on-the-cheap, shot-on-the-quick mockumentary experiment.

That said, there are glimpses at something bigger. One very fine (and undoubtedly knowing) moment comes when Shane Meadows – playing Shane Meadows, documentary filmmaker – tells Considine’s character (Nick) how he should treat his pregnant ex-girlfriend, alerting him to the fact that her new boyfriend is benefiting from Nick’s arseholery. In its glorious blurring of documentary ethics, Meadows’ meddling in the lives of his subjects hints at where this project might have ended up, perhaps with a different set of characters, or a different plot, on a different five days.

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