Svengali Review

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Rabid Welsh music fan Dixie (Owen) thinks he's stumbled upon the next big thing. With his girlfriend, a plastic bag full of beers and a demo tape by The Prems, he heads for London. But while the band should be Dixie's ticket to the top, the big city lights and rival attractions threaten to steal his thunder.


Dixie (Jonny Owen), a naive, sunny music nut, for whom Britpop never ended, heads from Wales to London to manage a “brilliant” band and make them huge (cunningly avoiding accusations that they’re not, we never hear them play). Owen’s script has a lot of holes — Dixie’s running money worries seem easily solvable if only he’d shake hands with one of the many record companies after his group — and his likable performance does a lot more work than his writing, but there’s a can-do enthusiasm about the film that is very charming. A run of strong cameos provide extra diversion.

A project that had its roots in a series of YouTube videos has a suitably lo-fi feel. Its writer/star has the charm and warmth to keep this muso fairy tale on the tracks and there are entertaining spot-the-rocker cameos galore.