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Movie Reviews

Human Traffic  

Director: Justin Kerrigan
Cast: John Simm (Jip), Lorraine Pilkington (Lulu), Shaun Parkes (Koop), Danny Dyer (Moff), Nicola Reynolds (Nina), Dean Davies (Lee), Jan Anderson, Carol Harrison, Justin Kerrigan, Andrew Lincoln

I suspect I may the wrong kind of person to review this movie. There are references here to things that I've never even heard about, and many of the jokes sound like in-jokes to the British rave/dance/club music scene. Having said that, it does manage to be entertaining. "Human Traffic" takes us through 48 hours in the life of a group of twenty-somethings friends as they gear up for another weekend of rave parties, drugs, alcohol and hopefully plenty of sex. Jip (John Simm), the lead character (if there's such a thing in this film) is full of energy and charm but suffers from impotence brought on by sexual anxiety. His best friend Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington) is a gorgeous blond, cool, seemingly in control but somehow hopeless in finding a decent bloke. Koop (Shaun Parkes) and Nina (Nicola Reynolds) make up the couple, and then there's Moff (Danny Dyer) - a likable loser of a drug dealer who provides one of the most excruciatingly funny moments in the film.

There's not really a plot as such, but more like a collection of soliloquies, thoughts on life, speeches to the camera, depiction and satirisation of archetypes in drug and dance. It's almost like a documentary, a social comment - except if you tried to tell that to the director of this film, he'd probably tell you you're full of shite. And it would be true - this film is infectious, unapologetically fun, with no intentions of examining any deep issues except to use it to poke fun and laugh at everything including itself. It's a guilt-free film that makes an cheerfully honest statement which makes a lot of people uncomfortable: people who take drugs are regular, likable people who mean no harm and are just as normal as anyone else. Will this film encourage drug taking? Who knows? Somehow I doubt people is that stupid - and there are a lot of other things that will get people into drugs. It cheekily lampoons its critics, epitomised in one scene where Lulu and Nina mocks a journalist doing a story on drugs in the rave scene. But the characters aren't exactly idol material: they all have problems, and though amusing, they are a bit too much like caricatures to make much of an impact.

The music is simply gorgeous: Fat Boy Slim, Underworld, Primal Scream, Orbital, Carl Cox, etc etc. It keeps up the mad energy of the film, which doesn't let up until the end, where it sort of meanders back to focus more on the plot that was set up at the beginning. Even if you don't even get what's been talked about, the film keeps reminding you that it's all "bollocks", and you are carried forward by the electric stamina of the whole thing. Funny, raw and energetic, it's more than it really is. You don't have to like what these people do, but you can at least laugh about it.

Eden Law

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