1 2 3 4 (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/10/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

An enjoyable, well acted and frequently funny drama that's slightly let down by an underwritten, disappointing finale.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Giles Borg, 1 2 3 4 stars Ian Bonar as Stevie, a music-obsessed nerd who works in a call centre and dreams of being a singer-guitarist in a band, with his best friend and fellow call centre employee Neil (Mathew Baynton). When he meets rough-edged guitarist Billy Nixon (Kieran Bew), Stevie thinks he's found the extra spark their band needs, especially when Billy, in turn, recruits his cute friend Emily (Lyndsey Marshal) and the band actually start to play a few gigs.

However, despite his best intentions, Stevie continually seems to irritate Billy and things only get worse when Billy tries to change Stevie's songs. And as if that wasn't bad enough, Stevie finds himself falling for Emily, despite the fact that she's involved with an obnoxious boyfriend (Giles Maythan).

The Good
Ian Bonar and Mathew Baynton are an extremely likeable onscreen duo and Borg's script crackles with witty dialogue that really captures the nature of their friendship. Similarly, the tentatively romantic scenes between Stevie and Emily are extremely well written, as is the painfully awkward, post-kiss fallout scene.

As a director, Borg perfectly captures both the sense of exhilaration when everything seems to be coming together, musically, and the sense of frustration when it doesn't.

The Bad
Unfortunately, in trying to distance itself from the usual cliches, the film ends up with nowhere to go. As a result, the underwritten, shockingly abrupt ending is both frustrating and disappointing – you can see what Borg was going for, but it just doesn't work.

Similarly, the supposedly quirky title cards (divided into track titles) feel like they were added as an afterthought, as they bring nothing to the film and eventually become irritating.

Worth seeing?
For the most part, 1 2 3 4 is an enjoyable, sharply-observed and frequently witty drama but its disappointing final act deprives it of a shot at the big-time. Worth seeing though, especially if you rewrite the ending in the pub afterwards.

Film Trailer

1 2 3 4 (tbc)
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Content updated: 15/12/2017 06:29

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