Release Date: 25th June 2013

Director: Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror (2005))

Cast: Jamie Blackley, Toby Regbo, Joanne Froggatt, Liz White, Mark Womack, Louise Delamere, Amy Wren with Stephanie Leonidas and Jaime Winstone

Writer: Mike Walden





One thought on “UWANTME2KILLHIM?

  1. UWANTME2KILLHIM? by Joe Pesci II aka Matt Usher

    Truth is famously stranger than fiction, and this film (with its very silly instantly outdated title) struggles to make truth seem real. This is a shame because it’s an interesting story and well done in many respects, but (like the silly title), the film is misconceived.

    Apparently based on fact (with all the caveats that involves), UWANTME2KILLHIM? (very silly title) tries to tell the story from the perspective of popular pupil Mark (played by Jamie Blackley, of whom we will surely see a great deal more). We follow his descent into a madness caused by internet manipulation and social and familial isolation; a descent which eventually leads to disaster.

    Or at least that’s the idea. For some reason the film-makers decided to use flashbacks and flashforwards which don’t really help the narrative. So we start with Mark’s crime (he stabs someone) and then go back to pick up the pieces to find out who the victim is, why Mark stabbed him, and then the even more unlikely story behind that. This may have worked if the police investigation had been central to the plot but it isn’t; the police (personified by a wasted Joanne Froggatt) just waft around to little purpose. The problem is that what happened is so unlikely (POTENTIAL SPOILER: we’re dealing with fake identities, the secret services, terrorists, suicide, and really big fibs) that you can’t tell it entirely from Mark’s point of view as it’s too incredible to take seriously. But on the other hand, telling it from the other point of view, involving his victim, John (a suitably weird Toby Regbo), would actually involve relatively little interesting narrative. It’s at its strongest when dealing with the developing and unravelling relationship between the two boys (though sometimes you do wonder why they’re hanging about together having argued violently a few scenes earlier).

    The film-makers (and they’re neither the first nor the last, nor the worst in this respect) can’t work out how to film the internet. Seeing as this is Mark’s window on the world, and it is through it that he is manipulated, the internet has a central part to play. The film decides to show characters who Mark only ever meets online, but the film gets it wrong somehow. If you’re going to show people who may not be who they claim then surely it’s important for the film-makers to make it clear that what we see is what Mark thinks he sees, rather than whatever the reality is. The film doesn’t make that distinction and ends up undermining itself. The film seems to be trying to persuade us of their veracity rather than showing us what was in Mark’s mind. Liz White is poor as an MI5 operative, but good as Mark’s concept of an MI5 operative, but is presented visually in a convincing world (ie one that Mark wouldn’t necessarily envisage). The film needed to make this differentiation clearer (without giving its own game away).

    As a thriller it simply doesn’t work because Mark falls for a stupid plot and we know it. As a study in isolation it doesn’t quite work either because it’s too busy trying to be a thriller. There’s a lot that works well – the distance between parents and children, the irrelevance of teachers, and the central performances by Blackley and Rgegegegegegebo are extremely convincing. But in a way it’s just not the film that it needed to be. Perhaps they should have fictionalised it a bit further, and made it more plausible? And given it a better title. I suppose it’s heartening for older viewers to see that teenagers can be stupid when it comes to technology, though I don’t think that’s the film’s intended message. But what is the intended message? The internet’s full of weirdoes. Trust no-one. Always ask for credentials. Be careful who you masturbate in front of. Well, you can’t argue with that.

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