Move up the ladder, Crush your ennemies, Kill your friends

What is the meaning of life? « To crush your enemies — See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women”. Well, that’s 27-year-old A&R executive Steven Stelfox’ way of seeing things (Well actually no that’s Conan the Barbarian’s, but let’s just say that’s Steven’s). And, according to him, that’s the record industry’s way of seeing things too. I mean, who cares about music, right? Steven certainly doesn’t.

What he cares about is efficiently moving up the ladder of his company. He’s got ambition, dedication, a sufficient supply of cocaine and the will to crush anything and/or anyone that will get in his way to success. What he lacks, however, is a hit and a good deal with a good talented bankable malleable musician artist visionary person. A deal is a bet. Do it unwisely and you lose your money. Allow someone to steal it and you lose your job. And everything you’ve built up so far. You don’t want that. Steven certainly doesn’t.

I suggest you stop the video at 0:44 because somehow the people in the marketing departments of the cinema industry still doesn’t get the difference between “teasing” and “delivering all the plot of a movie in one minute and a half”.

Kill your friends is director Owen Harris’ first movie. It is not a chef d’oeuvre nor an unnameable piece of crap. There is nothing revolutionary about it but Harris uses old tricks that do the job. Breaking the fourth wall or repeating the same scene with different dialogues has been proven efficient to show on screen the hopes, the fears, the thoughts of the main character of a first-person narrative story and that movie happens to be an adaptation of John Niven’s eponym first-person narrative novel. John Niven also wrote the script, so nothing very surprising there.

It is not the first plot that shows a antihero stumbling around a disenchanted view of a massive industry drowned in drugs, vice and selfishness. We had one about marketing and advertising in France in 2007 – 99 F, with Jean Dujardin –  and the acidic and cynical tone sounds like a déjà vu but it’s still an enjoyable dark-humoured satire with a pleasant soundtrack (seriously Sash! and Karma Police in the same movie, I approve). It also helps that clean shaved Nicholas Hoult is very good for the role. Add a smirk to his angelic face and you have arrogant, calculating, immoral, drug-fuelled prick Steven Stelfox. Crush his enemies? I’m convinced he would. I’m even convinced he would kill his friends.


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