May 28, 2012|
A lot of crazy things go down at outdoor music festivals, but the drugs must have been strong for someone to think that the idea of two rock stars being handcuffed together for 24 hours would make for a convincing film plot. What You Instead shows, however, is that even a storyline so thin can be padded out when the festival in question is Scotland’s biggest, T In The Park, captured in all its muddy and spontaneous glory.
The film opens with Adam (Luke Treadaway), one half of globally-renowned electronic-pop duo The Make, running into Morello (Natalia Tena), the lead singer of all-girl punk band The Dirty Pink, shortly after arriving at the festival site. It’s clear the two don’t get along and they quickly break into a heated backstage argument. For some inexplicable reason this attracts the ire of a preacher who decides to teach them a lesson by handcuffing them together and disappearing with the key.
The two rock stars are understandably a little pissed off at this development, and continue to bicker. Then it seems things can only get worse when Adam runs into his supermodel girlfriend, who is not best pleased at the situation. But when it comes time for Morello to hit the stage, the pair come to an unlikely compromise to perform together and from here the shackles are loosened, figuratively at least. You really don’t need to be told where this is all headed.
Despite the frankly awful premise, a certain ramshackle charm hits you right from the off when Adam and bandmate Tyko (Matthew Baynton) make their entrance to the backing of a romantic toe-tapping acoustic number. Later on, Adam joins Morello’s band on stage to belt out an impromptu duet of “Tainted Love” which adds a hip and oh-so-knowing tone to the whole narrative. Needless to say, the soundtrack is pretty impressive.
Filmed over five days at the 2010 edition of T In The Park, You Instead does manage to give a fairly tactile portrayal of the whole festival experience through plenty of crowd scenes and shots of revelers in their element. While the storyline is standard rom-com dressed up in skinny jeans and wayfarers—and the characters play straight from this songsheet—it would be missing the point to judge the film solely on these counts. Instead, director David Mackenzie has tacked a slight narrative onto what is otherwise a decent stylized look into the chaotic energy, sights and sounds of a major music festival.