The Riot Club (2014)

Two first-year students (Sam Claflin, Max Irons) at Oxford University join a secret society – loosely based on the real life Bullingdon Club – and learn that their reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of one evening.

This is another of those films where the premise sounded interesting. I also noticed they had a decent cast for the film so it was worth checking out. My sister watched it before me and didn’t like it. I suppose I can see her point.

This film should be called Masculine Privilege: The Movie. It’s a self confident view of upper class British masculinity where money can get you out of problems. That and nepotism.

The secondary characters are a tad one dimensional and yet they are still in the path of the hurricane that is 10 rich blokes in blue waistcoats.

All the actors in the film give it their all and do it well, which is certainly saying something when all the motives and characters dynamics are just icky. It takes a good actor to play unlikeable characters so well. Women are certainly not well presented as they are usually represented here in maternal or servile positions. This film is so misogynistic it’ll make you wince.

Looking into the background of the play on which this film is based shows that there have been attempts to gender bend the play, which is really interesting especially when it deals with such monumental themes such as male power and privilege.

Some parts of the film got a bit too much at times such as when they assault a pub owner when he complains that their rowdy antics are driving away his regular customers. However, while it did feel a bit much at times it never felt gratuitous and instead seems to serve as the curtain call for their antics.

There seemed to be the overarching theme at the end that implied privilege never goes away and will always be around or just adapt to suit the purpose.

This isn’t a film I’d rewatch but it does a brilliant job of portraying the hedonistic actions of bad people.

MY RATING: ***.5 / *****

One thought on “The Riot Club (2014)

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