Shane Meadows (This is England) directs this mock music documentary about Le Donk (Paddy Considine), a
Nottingham based roadie working
for The Arctic Monkeys and managing
rapped Scor-zay-zee (playing himself). The film blends reality and fiction and
is set and filmed in five days leading up to an Arctic Monkeys gig in .
Le Donk has recently separated from his pregnant girlfriend (Olivia Coleman)
and travels to Manchester
with Scor-zay-zee for work and with the hope that he can somehow get the rapper
on the bill at the gig.
Paddy Considine is brilliant as Le Donk and carries the entire movie. Most of his lines are improvised and the majority work, with hilarious results. He appears to be channelling David Brent and Alan Partridge at times but is thoroughly convincing. The film itself outstays its welcome after about 45 minutes. Despite a promising start the joke kind of gets old by the mid way point and although the film comes in at only 71 minutes, it feels long. I couldn’t help feeling that it was more suited to TV and perhaps would have worked better as a 45 minute or one hour special. I’m glad that I didn’t see it at the cinema myself.
The idea itself is interesting and well executed but it is unable to sustain an entire feature, even one as short as this (there are at least three musical montages). Unlike Spinal Tap for instance which has two very strong central characters and numerous side characters, Le Donk is pretty much here on his own. Scor-zay-zee provides the odd funny line but he is either not good enough or not used enough to provide much impact. The side story of Le Donk’s pregnant ex added a few minutes to the run time but is perhaps more important for cementing the two actors relationship before they worked together on Considine’s brilliant directorial debut Tyrannosaur.
Overall the film is sometimes entertaining and occasionally very funny but doesn’t have enough about it for a successful feature film. You have to commend everyone involved though as they’ve managed to make an average film in just five days with a budget of £48,000 when many studio films fall flatter than this with budgets one hundred times that.