Actor, writer and producer Jonny Owen introduced the World Premiere at the 2013 EIFF and explained that the concept for Svengali started life on You Tube in 2008 as a nine episode series before it was decided to expand the story and the narrative and turn it into a ‘star studded’ feature film.
Basically a story about a man, his love for a girl and a band he wants to manage. The man is Paul Dean a postman from South Wales known as Dixie who has a passion for music and a dream: he wants to discover and manage a great rock band. The girl is his long time soul mate Michelle who shares his passions. It’s when Dixie is trawling through You Tube that he discovers the Band of his dreams: The Premature Congratulations. The young couple head for London in their quest to make The Prems famous and earn their fortune and get married. If only life was that simple and straightforward? What they don’t consider is the sharks, charlatans and moneylenders that are found in temple of the metropolis known as the big city where Dixie is forced to decide what his real priorities are.
An enjoyable and entertaining 90 minutes but not a movie that will exactly set the film world on fire. It did remind me however of Good Vibrations (2012), the story of Terri Hooley and the Belfast punk scene but without that films underlying tension. The opening credits were very good as was the soundtrack. Most of the celebrity cameos were very amusing and the other main actors were convincing. But the luckless main character of Dixie Dean actually got on my nerves the more the film went on and to be honest I found the whole thing a little dated.