In a departure from the rough-edged kitchen-sinkery of This Is England and Somers Town, Shane Meadows shoots and scores in the mockumentary genre with this silly but soft-centred rock biz spoof. Paddy Considine (the name may not ring an immediate bell, but the face certainly will) is the swaggering Le Donk, the kind of brash, mad-fer-it chancer – think Reverend Jon McLure meets David Brent – that seem to grow on trees in Northern England. As well as a continual stream of arrogance and all-thumbs sloganeering, he’s also a roadie trying to elbow his way into the music industry with a tubby local rapper called Scor Zay Zee. A truly hilarious and memorable character, Considine wallows in Meadows’s penchant for unscripted scenes and cuts Le Donk’s crowing egotism and manipulative streak with an inner sadness and loneliness.
Over a tidy 75 minutes, we follow the odd couple to an -Article Monkeys’ show where Le Donk hopes to get an intro for Scor Zay Zee. The Arctic Monkeys themselves show up, accidentally catch the impromptu performance and offer the duo a short afternoon slot. Along the way, we meet Le Donk’s heavily pregnant ex (Peep Show’s Olivia Colman) who bats away his dunderheaded attentiveness, sparking director Meadows to speak up and advise Le Donk on matters of the heart. This erosion of what Mark Kermode types like to call -the fourth wall’ continues, with Meadows and his crew arguing with the demanding diva-isms of the star, and laughing cruelly at his attempts at backing vocals in one excellent hotel room scene.
It must have been a hoot to shoot with Considine, who may shed the -that guy’ tag after this whipsmart comedic performance. Whether or not Scor Zay Zee, who raps, quite skilfully it must be said, about Stephen Hawking, gay MPs and the Koran, will see a similar career upheaval is another matter, but hopefully he’ll stand proud of the identikit UK grime scene. Meadows, meanwhile, has just added another string to his bow, and in fine style too.
Le Donk and Scor Zay Zee opens at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin on Friday 9th October and runs to the 15th. We have three pairs of tickets to give away, send your name, contact number and preferred performance (see the times here) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 3pm on Friday.