HUNKY DORY (2013)
Starring: Minnie Driver, Aneurin
Barnard, Danielle Branch,
Haydn Gwynne, Robert Pugh,
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 109 minutes
Distributor: Variance Films
Director: Marc Evans
Executive Producer: Pauline Burt, Christopher
Figg, Norman Merry, Keith
Potter, Robert Whitehouse
Producer: Jonathan Finn, Dan Lupoviotz
Writer: Laurence Coriat
Address Comments To:Dylan Marchetti, President/Founder, Variance Films
99 Madison Avenue, Suite 614
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 537-6769
Website: www.variancefilms.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Set in 1976 in South Wales, the movie opens with music teacher Vivienne working with her students while producing a rock music version of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. The musical will feature songs from David Bowie, Electric Light Orchestra, and The Byrds.
Davey, the boy playing Ferdinand, has a crush on Stella, the sultry promiscuous girl playing Miranda. Stella, however, has eyes for a local mechanic. Meanwhile, the boy playing Ariel is having a sexual identity crisis, while the skinhead boy playing Caliban gets teased a lot by a couple of the other boys in the play. Slight complications ensue when Davey begins to transfer his feelings for Stella to Vivienne the teacher. Also, an old-fashioned teacher in the school tries to sabotage the play because she hates Vivienne’s empathetic teaching methods and alleged lax discipline of her students.
Can Vivienne cope with all the problems among her students while countering the criticism of her and the play?
HUNKY DORY works best when the teacher and the students are working on the musical play. When it goes outside the classroom, to the students’ personal lives, it becomes too melodramatic. Also, there are too many subplots in HUNKY DORY. That said, when the movie combines Shakespeare with 1970s rock tunes, it makes viewers really want to see a play like this for real. Quick, someone make a movie musical version of THE TEMPEST! It could be fun if done right.
Content-wise, HUNKY DORY takes a Romantic approach to its story. The teacher, and the movie, is all about personal expression ahead of rules and tradition. Along the way there’s an apolitical quote from Karl Marx – “Don’t let the ba***rds get you down.” Also, the movie encourages the one boy’s homosexual feelings in the typically staid, unimaginative politically correct way that has come to define the moribund, sanctimonious ideology of the liberal left. Finally, when Davey expresses his feelings for his teacher, she gives him a kiss on the lips but nothing happens after that. At the end credits, however, it becomes clear that neither Davey nor the teacher pursued any relationship. So, the inclusion of this subplot doesn’t even make sense.
Sadly, HUNKY DORY has a lot of strong foul language, more than 75 obscenities. Because of the foul language, and the movie’s worldview problems, MOVIEGUIDE® believes HUNKY DORY is unacceptable viewing. To media-wise moviegoers, HUNKY DORY is not quite – well – hunky dory.
HUNKY DORY works best when the teacher and the students work on the musical play. When the movie goes outside the classroom, to the students’ personal lives, it becomes too melodramatic. Also, there are too many subplots in HUNKY DORY. The bigger problem, though, is that the movie’s Romantic worldview is a bit politically correct and has more than 75 obscenities. To media-wise moviegoers, HUNKY DORY is not quite – well – hunky dory.