3 July 2017 | davideo-2
Decent enough little expose of what went on behind the scenes
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
After failing to anticipate the success of Brexit, in June of 2016 David Cameron resigned as prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party, leaving the door open for his replacement in the shambolic aftermath of the election result. The gaffe prone Boris Johnson (Will Barton) seemed like the likely successor, but assembled a team around him, including seasoned Tory minister Michael Gove (John Seaward) and his team, while fellow Tory Angela Leadsom (Cate Fowler) offered her help at a price. All the while, former Justice Secretary and vicar's daughter Theresa May (Jacqueline King) was engineering her own bid for leadership. After Gove's duplicitous betrayal, Johnson stood down and it became a battle of the women as May and Leadsom ended up going head to head after she launched her own campaign.
The chaotic political landscape of the last year or so, with upheavals in leadership and political outcomes, has served up a climate ripe for salient exposes of what went on behind the scenes, where the drama of what engineered the outcome is exciting enough, even if you already know how it pans out. In the event, May won, and Boris became Foreign Secretary and quit as Mayor of London. Justin Harding's little docu-drama of 2016's battle for No. 10, is a combination of real life testimony from those intimately involved in the campaigns and re-enactments of the main players by professional actors, which works out to casual effect.
Harding has attempted to add a touch of lightness to the proceedings, with behind the scenes shots of the actors getting ready/preparing, with a light, bouncy soundtrack of classic 70s retro and modern indie-lite, which helps to counterbalance everything when the political gobbledegook gets a little too much. All the same, at times it all feels a little hammy and over-dramatised, which results in something even more alienating when you consider the alien Westminster world it's already overwhelming us with.
Still, a year on and this whole affair is still keeping us all hooked, and Harding has delivered a flawed but insightful little piece. ***