Would the real Saint Bob please stand up?

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

IN many ways, it’s a pity that I Am Bob is a short film. It’s an ab­so­lute hoot, and the sheer scope for tak­ing the piss out of one of rock mu­sic’s more sanc­ti­mo­nious me­dia junkies means it could eas­ily have been ex­tended be­yond 19 min­utes. The tar­get of this pithy send- up is, of course, phi­lan­thropist and di­shev­elled cur­mud­geon Bob Geldof.

Geldof’s earnest fight against African poverty, par­tic­u­larly the Live Aid con­cert, made him one of the most recog­nis­able faces in the world and as an­noy­ingly ubiq­ui­tous as U2’ s Bono.

Al­though his mu­si­cal ca­reer ap­pears to have fiz­zled out com­pared with the heady days of the Boom­town Rats, his profile has re­mained high as a re­sult of per­sonal con­tro­ver­sies in the 1990s and the 2005 Live 8 con­cert. This does the star ab­so­lutely no good, how­ever, when he is in­ad­ver­tently aban­doned by an in­com­pe­tent chauf­feur in the Lan­cashire vil­lage of Long Marston.

Geldof finds him­self pen­ni­less and stranded at a tacky mo­tel host­ing a looka­like com­pe­ti­tion. Nat­u­rally, ev­ery­one mis­takes him for a com­peti­tor and laughs off his in­creas­ingly an­noyed claims that he is the real Geldof.

This may not be the most orig­i­nal plot in the world but the ex­e­cu­tion is nine- tenths of the bat­tle and in this case it’s de­light­ful. Geldof is des­per­ate to get to a Make Poverty His­tory fundraiser and of­fers a Popeim­per­son­at­ing taxi driver £ 1000 to take him.

When the of­fer is re­buffed be­cause he can’t pay the money up front, he asks if there are any other taxis in town. ‘‘ They’re inside mate: Austin Pow­ers, Pamela An­der­son and Yasser Arafat,’’ comes the cheer­ful re­ply. The rock star quickly re­alises an ob­vi­ous so­lu­tion is to en­ter the com­pe­ti­tion as him­self and try to claim the prize­money. The prob­lem is he is not the only Bob Geldof to turn up that night.

The great thing about this favourite at the Tribeca Film Fes­ti­val is the per­son who spends the most time putting the boot into the Geldof per­sona is Geldof him­self. He plays up his fa­mous pen­chant for ex­ple­tives while at the same time skew­er­ing the holier- than- thou ‘‘ St Bob’’ rep­uta- tion he gar­nered while on his mis­sion for the Third World.

The big­gest laughs come as he is pit­ted against the fake Geldof in a per­for­mance of the Boom­town Rats hit I Don’t Like Mon­days and as he tries to an­swer ques­tions about him­self dur­ing a tie- breaker.

Di­rec­tor, pro­ducer and writer Don­ald Rice hits his tar­get dead cen­tre with this all- too- short of­fer­ing, helped in no small mea­sure by Geldof’s world- weary and self­dep­re­cat­ing per­for­mance.

De­light­ful: Bob Geldof presents a familiar face in I AmBob

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.