Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
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
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
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
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
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
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
It is a film that works in spite of its faults.