There is a short but telling scene in Powder where a top music producer is asked to leave everything behind and come away on tour with an up-and-coming band. The following shots show the regretful sell-out producer on tour in backwater shit-holes with what turns out to be a ragtag bunch of self-deluded dregs. I reckon this must of been the scenario when director (Mark Elliot) was hired to reinterpret the book of the same name. Powder as a film is pure visual diarrhea. I’ve seen better episodes of Home and Away. Self-indulgent, the film masquerades as a dark comedy, in reality it’s closer to Geordie Shore with much less tan, but way more posturing and moodiness as it documents the so called ‘life changing’ experiences of the vapid and affected youth of the indie music scene.
The grams are the fictional Northern band at the centre of this mockery. Poor front-man Keva (pretty-boy Liam Boyle) has lost his all important mojo because his arch-rival, the black clad boot licking Helmet (played by a ponce named Al Weaver) stole his precious little song and now has a hit with his band, the obnoxious Transbad Saints. They take off to the US, the grams wallow in self pity around V Fest. Things get worse for us and them when pus head Alfie Allen joins the plot as their useless manager Weezer. Unable to shake the nagging feeling of failure, ultra moody Keva decides to evacuate his insides of the putrified remnants of his past and decides to take the band and their leeching groupies on an Ibizan adventure. The cliches flow, just like the trots. Keva does mind altering drugs with some rasta shaman in a teepee hoping to see ‘god’, the rest dance topless at the hotel. A drowning brings a fortunate respite to proceedings in the hope that someone will display something close to a genuine emotion but this is not to be as they all soon resort to their default moodiness and insipid smugness.
You pray that a film, like this one, might have offered some insight into our young, albeit the white middle-class generation. That it might capture something of their fears, their vibrant and subversive language in all its glory, that their music is full of wonder and hope and strange lyrical curiosities. We want that type commentary, it doesn’t matter if it’s unpolished and rough so long as it’s real and from the heart and has some style. Sadly, there is no commentary here, none at all. Dysentery yes, lots of it. What ever there was of a decent story, has been undermined by high-street cliches and stereotypes filmed in a manner that befits the mindset of a big brother audience rather than the stylistic demands of the cinema. An utter waste of time and money.
Powder is in cinemas 26th August 2011.
Director: Mark Elliott
Stars: Liam Boyle, Alfie Allen, Jo Woodcock
Runtime: 105 min