Set the Thames on Fire

Set the Thames on Fire

Ben Charles Edwards (2015)

83min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Destined for cult veneration, Ben Charles Edwards's debut feature is a laudably ambitious "Agony in Three Acts" set in a flooded future London. Yet, for all the grim beauty of the visuals, the perambulations of pianist Michael Winder and aspiring sailor Max Bennett are markedly less compelling, as they criss-cross the waterlogged and seemingly isolated city to encounter such eccentric denizens as uncouth overlord Gerard Mcdermott, perverse transvestite Noel Fielding, lascivious landlady Sadie Frost and resentful fortune-teller Sally Phillips and her scheming assistant, Lily Loveless. It hardly helps that in seeking to channel their inner Withnail & I, Winder and Bennett struggle to register against their scene-stealing co-stars or that Al Joshua's loquaciously episodic script makes so few expository compromises. But the production design and cinematography are exceptional, and reinforce comparisons with the dystopian visions of film-making teams like Delicatessen's Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro.

Cast & Crew

Dickie Noel Fielding
Mrs Hortense Sadie Frost
Colette Sally Phillips
Sal Max Bennett
Art Michael Winder
Emily Lily Loveless
London Town tannoy Morgana Robinson
Street drunk Carl Barât
The Magician David Hoyle
Pleasemore Craig James Morgan
The Impresario Gerald Mcdermott
Director Ben Charles Edwards
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Blonde to Black PicturesReleased on: 16 Sep 2016