A/V Room









It's All Gone Pete Tong (15)

Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

IT'S all gone Pete Tong is cockney rhyming slang for it's all gone wrong, which is an apt way to describe the events of this comedy, as a top Ibiza DJ suddenly loses his hearing and has to contend with a life without music.

Fortunately, despite a shaky start that succeeds in epitomising the hedonistic excess of the Ibiza lifestyle, the film gets it right in providing a viewing experience that is genuinely quite touching.

Taking a 'mockumentary' approach like the ones used in This Is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind, the film is supposedly based on the true story of top DJ, Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye), an internationally renowned music-maker who has clawed his way to the top of the Ibiza ranks amid the usual blend of hard drink, hard drugs and loose women.

Such hedonistic excess takes its toll, however, as Frankie's ears quickly become damaged by the music to such an extent that he is advised to take things slower.

Armed with a hearing aid, Frankie resolves to put out a new album and continue for as long as he can, but is suddenly rendered completely deaf following an accident in his recording studio.

The impact is devastating, sending Frankie into a spiral of self-pity during which his 'friends' turn against him and his wife walks out.

But he eventually resolves to rise above his disability and, with the help of a lip-reading coach (played by Beatriz Batarda), adopts a new approach to music-making and returns to the DJ booth determined to prove the doubters wrong.

It's All Gone Pete Tong was named Best Feature at the last Toronto Film Festival, while the US Comedy Arts Festival named Paul Kaye best actor at its 2005 ceremony.

There are times when the film struggles to justify such acclaim, frequently resorting to easy jokes and tired cliches during its party-filled opening section.

It's ironic, therefore, that when events start going wrong for Frankie, things tend to get better for viewers.

Kaye is superb at conveying the mixed emotions of his character once his life begins to crumble, transforming from a completely dislikable superstar to someone worth rooting for during the film's latter stages.

His frustrations are convincingly portrayed, while his relationship with Batarda's sweet, deaf lip-reader is nicely developed, so as to eventually reward the viewers' patience.

Were it not for such a convincing turnaround, the film could have become lost amid a tidal wave of noisy, foul-mouthed excess, populated by hideous characters such as Mike Wilmot's loathsome promoter, Max.

Yet for those willing to give it time, who aren't seduced by the Ibiza lifestyle, the film spins a credible record of personal triumph against the odds that just about has its heart in the right place.

It is a film that works in spite of its faults.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z