Johnny Jones (Phil Daniels) used to be someone, his band Weapons Of Happiness were a big hit across the world, but some years ago the group fell apart. A funeral reunites the group, who perform an impromptu track, which former band member Robbie (Perry Benson) cleans up and edits on his computer. Realising that they sound just great, the group decide it is time to reform, but time has moved on and nobody wants old reformed bands anymore. Johnny realises they have missed their window, but have they? Launching a cunning plan, Johnny will gather a group of unknowns together, a manufactured band to release the Weapons Of Happiness’ new hits.
With a cast that includes Keith Allen, Phil Daniels and Perry Benson you know you are on to a virtual winner before you even walk in the door to see Vinyl. These acting heavyweights all have a legacy of hits and misses, but you just get that overwhelming impression that together they will deliver a hit, and this they do.
Vinyl is a very traditional feeling British comedy movie, given of course a modern spin. Writer/Director Sara Sugarman has a legacy of delivering unusual cult style British movies, and Vinyl is by far her most accomplished work, Sugarman is an all-rounder who has worked as an actress, writer, and director who’s origins stem right the way back to Grange Hill, she has grown up in the industry, and fully understands the mechanism’s that make a movie really work, and how to get the best from the performers. As a result Vinyl has its heart set in the best of classic British comedy, you cannot help but think of the original St. Trinians movies as the scamming and cover ups get revealed, At the same time the film has a cutting edge contemporary feel, something as edgy as Good Vibrations, but as rocky as Sid And Nancy.
There is a whole host of new talent bought into the movie, in the delivery of the fake band headed up by Jamie Blackley, who although has a history in the industry, given his young age, this is really his first opportunity to shine as a responsible lead. This mix of older acting talent, and cutting edge new souls creates a really nice gel, a strong bond. Sadly despite an exhaustive search I can’t find a full cast listing, and cannot identify some of the other leads, including the only female band member, who performs with some real passion.
Vinyl’s pace is incredibly well handled, you wont be clockwatching during this movie, the combination of drama and comedy really works. Some people have a very dim view of independent movies, but Vinyl despite it’s budgetary limitations feels every bit the British blockbuster, it has the power and the passion to be Britain’s next Four Weddings, providing it is handled correctly.
Vinyl will be a modern classic, providing it gets the chance to be, in order for that happen you need to see it, and you need to tell people how bloody brilliant it is.
Vinyl Q & A From Raindance