The Riot Club follows the events of an exclusive society at Oxford University. Only 10 members are allowed at any one point and only the ‘best’ gain membership. This film looked like it could have been quite interesting, there was certainly potential in many areas and I was eager to see it.
However The Riot Club did let me down. There is very little to this film in terms of plot, it’s very simple. The club begins a new year with only 8 members so they start the search for 2 new members. Once this is complete The Riot Club have their annual dinner and this special occasion takes up most of the film, this sequence is long however tension does build throughout it at a steady pace culminating in an eventful climax. There is a little focus on the fallout after these events but really not that much. For me the fallout could have been where things got really interesting however instead things are wrapped up pretty quickly. So the film lacks interest in my opinion, too much time was devoted to the wrong moments. Anyway all of the actors here put in brilliant performances, I really did believe that these boys were ‘Filthy, Rich, Spoilt and Rotten.’ Particularly convincing were Douglas Booth (Noah) and Sam Clafin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). Star of the film Pride, Ben Schnetzer also stars as one of the Riot Club members. I found this a challenge at first as I had only recently seen Pride and both the characters that he plays are so different, however by the end of the film I firmly saw him as a member of The Riot Club and not LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners).
This film has very strong themes of the contrast between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ and social standing. Personally I think all that The Riot Club does is fuel an already established stereotype. I hate stereotypes, of any kind, whether it is of ‘posh’ or ‘common’ people I hate them all. I really do believe that your background etc does not determine character and too often judgements are made unfairly to people of all backgrounds. The content of this film is just utterly infuriating. ‘Posh twats’ is the phrase that comes to mind, parts of this film are pretty disgusting and I don’t understand how anyone would enjoy watching them. Now these scenes did provoke emotions in me and I did become involved because of that so that should be praised however what is attempted afterwards doesn’t work. I felt that the viewer was meant to feel sorry for Miles (Max Irons) unfortunately whilst he is obviously the best of a bad bunch this character just simply doesn’t do enough or make the right choices to warrant this response from the audience. What this results in is there being next to no likeable characters, well certainly main characters, meaning that we really don’t have anyone to back in this film. However due to the ending of this film I feel that what is being portrayed here is just the unfortunate reality of a small minority of people in todays society.
The Riot Club overall becomes a little pointless, it never really becomes entertaining. Emotions are drawn out of the viewer but you never really get to do anything with them. This film clearly paints a certain group of individuals in society negatively which is a shame because it is a very one-sided view into a well known stereotype. A little variation would have enhanced this film more, this is attempted but not to a degree that ever becomes useful for the film.
BIGGEST FLAW – Too much time devoted to the dinner rather than the fallout afterwards
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Strong cast who perform well
Rating – 6/10