Folky fakey

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - DON­ALD CLARKE

BENNY & JO­LENE ★ Di­rected by Jamie Adams. Star­ring Char­lotte Ritchie, Craig Roberts, Dolly Wells, Rosamund Han­son Club, IFI, Dublin, 88 min

Let’s get the ex­cuses out of the way first. Shot for a mere ¤14,000, Jamie Adams’s fea­ture de­but took just a few busy days to film. This doesn’t make it any less ter­ri­ble, but we can at least at­test that it is ter­ri­ble for a rea­son. It would be a gen­uine sin if se­ri­ous money had been spent on such a weak, rheumy lit­tle beast.

What we have here is an im­pro­vised com­edy about a folk duo – weedy Benny (Craig Roberts) and an­noy­ing Jo­lene (Char­lotte Ritchie) – on a tour of Wales af­ter, ap­par­ently, se­cur­ing some sort of sur­prise hit. Ev­ery scene is im­pro­vised into stut­ter­ing, mut­ter­ing, di­rec­tion­less te­dium, not in any way al­le­vi­ated by the pro­mis­cu­ous jump cuts.

The overwhelming im­pres­sion is of a cast try­ing des­per­ately to fill up time be­fore the film-mak­ers re­lease them from what­ever in­den­ture keeps them tied to such a doomed project.

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