The Great Ecstasy Of Robert Carmichael Review

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A schoolboy living in a dull seaside town is influenced by the wrong peer group and his behaviour spirals out of control.


A mass walkout at the Cannes Film Festival, and a furious critical response to the depiction of two gang-rapes, can do more good than harm to a film courting the oxygen of controversy. All you need are a couple of comparisons to A Clockwork Orange, and you might just have a hit. But this film deserves only to be ignored.

The titular character is a shy middle-class schoolboy stuck in a drab seaside town, who we never get to know. Instead, we're expected to swallow that soap-opera staple that he "gets in with a bad crowd", does drugs and turns into a violent thug. Clay clearly thinks he's produced a graphic and shocking portrait of a society in meltdown. What he's actually made is a profoundly conservative and relentlessly dull film which screams for our attention with pointless violence. Avoid.

Don't be swayed by the controversy, this is not worth a look even for curiousity's sake.