SIGHTSEERS Movie Review
Sightseers is the UK’s highly anticipated (by me at least), Edgar Wright produced, acclaimed festival darling. Writer-actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram spent years developing the characters on stage and small screen before finally getting the opportunity for big screen treatment. Their dedication definitely pays off as director Ben Wheatley delivers the goods with this gratifying dark comedy thriller. Eileen Davies, Richard Glover, and some British terriers co-star.
In this audience wish-fulfillment fantasy Chris (Steve Oram) intends to take his new girlfriend Tina (Alice Lowe) on a week’s holiday in his caravan (‘motor home’ in America) to visit all of his favorite British tourist sites. Things get off to a rocky start as sheltered Tina’s unpleasant mom (Eileen Davies) makes her disapproval of the holiday obvious. Things get MUCH more rocky though when obnoxious behavior from fellow tourists leads to a spiraling-out-of-control killing spree. The couple’s relationship is tested as their growing bloodlusts and mutual insanity evolve.
Considering that I am a month away from earning a Masters Degree in Tourism Management, I think my perspective on this movie is somewhat unique. I enjoyed reading it on a level as commentary on how tourist-to-tourist interaction and guest expectations affect vacation satisfaction. Unlike many tourists who just complain to management, Chris and Tina take their vacation in to their own hands. No one effs with their god damn holiday!!
The fact that these characters have spent years in development is apparent because it is the most compelling aspect of the film. Lowe and Oram’s performances are top notch and the characters’ progressions are fresh and real. My only complaint is that I wish I could have spent more time with them, as I feel their transformations were rushed by the constraints of feature length running time. It could have been a dope British mini-series. I also may have enjoyed this more if it took a Tarantino-esque direction, but it stays fairly grounded…never going to an over-the-top violence level. Oh, I shouldn’t forget that it is hilarious too, in a dark underplayed British way, of course. This was a very enjoyable movie going experience, and I don’t await the inevitable American remake.