DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema
Director - Sean Foley - 2017

"Mostly clean movie"
This quintessentially British comedy will elicit laughter if you grew up in the British Isles; otherwise you might find the film a little esoteric and "insular" - out in cinemas

I wasn’t born in Britain, and I didn’t move here until the age of 19 two decades ago. I did not watch Blue Peter, Rising Damp and I have only seen snippets of Father Ted on the History Channel. So is it fair to say that there is a lot of British nuance and humour that I just don’t get? Don’t the two decades I’ve lived here as an adult, plus the occasional episodes of Monthy Python and Absolutely Fabulous I watched as a teenager in Brazil, bestow upon me the magnificent power and ability to understand British gags, wit, and banter? I’ve grappled with this question for a long time. Whatever the answer may be, Mindhorn just didn’t entirely work for me.

This film, which is almost entirely set in the Isle of Man, is by no means a bad movie, or even a clumsy one. It just feels a little esoteric, drowned in a nostalgia intelligible solely to a very specific nationality and age group: Brits who experienced the 1980s. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that. This comedy is set to be a tremendous hit in the Isle of Man, less so in the four nations surrounding it (useful trivia: the Isle of Man is the only place on Earth from which you can see England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland at once), and almost certainly not a large success across the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. This film will neither upset nor bore you if you are not British. Instead it will make you smile, but it won’t burst your bladder with laughter.

Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) is a TV actor from the late 1980s who has since fallen into complete oblivion. He once played the lead in Isle of Man detective show Mindhorn, a character with a Robotic eye that can literally “see the truth” (see image at the top). Twenty-five years ago, he felt out with his stuntman (Simon Farnaby), with his co-star Peter Easterman and even with his fiction/real life romantic pair the actress Patricia DeVille (Effie Davies). He then moved to London in a bid to make it big.

Richard is now but a shadow of what he used to be, constantly failing to find himself a new acting gig.

Instead he’s now bald and paunchy living a small flat in North London. Suddenly he has the opportunity to reignite his career, as the Manx police invite him to “conjure up” Mindhorn in an attempt to negotiate with a delusional killer.

Richard is some sort of Norma Desmond (in fact the movie does even allude to Wilder’s 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard) blended with Austin Powers, all doused in very old-fashioned British nostalgia. Plus some very eccentric elements such as obscure comics and Brazilian capoeira (!!!). The humour is a quite slapstick, with plenty of clumsy kicking and punching, and jokes about camel toe and fake tan ad infinitum. It’s also a film about small town melancholia, inbreeding and narrowness. Except of course that the Isle of Man isn’t a small town, just not too far from that. The British Crown dependency has a population of just 87,000.

The photography deserves a mention. The vintage special effects are very cute, and the photography of the Isle is particularly charming. This is great opportunity to watch the eerily quiet streets of Douglas, walk inside the famous Laxey Wheel and jump off the dramatic cliffs of this small nation under British sovereignty.

Mindhorn is showing in cinemas across the UK from Friday May 5th. The film will also show at the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival this week – just click here for more information about the event.

"Mostly clean movie"

By Victor Fraga - 02-05-2017

By Victor Fraga - 02-05-2017

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of involvement...

DMovies Poll

Do/would you go to the cinema in order to watch documentaries?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

François Ozon probably doesn’t get much sleep. At [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Time flies by! DMovies was launched in February [Read More...]
American novelist Dennis Cooper’s cinematic debut feels like [Read More...]
It’s 2018, and neoliberalism is steadily morphing into [Read More...]
On the occasion of the UK release of [Read More...]

Read More

In the Crosswind (Risttuules)

Martti Helde

Victor Fraga - 21-09-2017

The moving picture that doesn't move: superb Estonian film uses innovative tableaux vivants technique in order to portray the Stalin's forced removal of 40,000 Estonians to Siberia in 1941 - available now as part of the Walk this Way collection [Read More...]

On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről)

Ildikó Enyedi

Jeremy Clarke - 19-09-2017

See you in my dreams! Golden Bear winner is an oneiric romance set against the unlikely backdrop of an abattoir - out in cinemas this week [Read More...]

Five dirty picks from the Raindance Film Festival


Victor Fraga - 18-09-2017

Check out top five recommendations for the Raindance Film Festival, one of the largest showcases for independent cinema in the world, starting this week in London [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *