Movie Review: It's All Gone Pete Tong

The 2005 Canadian film "It's All Gone Pete Tong" is an English film made by filmmaker Michael Dowse. The story of the film follows the life of a DJ Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye). He is a pretty successful DJ playing music at the nightclubs of Ibiza, Spain. The film begins with the fact that he is bearing incompatible noise and one day goes completely berserk one night and is carried out from the club on shoulders. The initial part of the film focusses on his denial in accepting the fact that he is becoming deaf. It is later established that he went deaf due to high volume of music blaring through his headphones. The film follows his downward arc which is harrowing especially the way he loses his hearing ability. The inability to accept his deafness results in a lot of overacting. 

Frankie is a chemically imbalanced wreck and his wife leaves him once the money begins to run out. He then meets Penelope (Beatriz Batarda), a hard-shelled woman who can stand up to the wild side of Frankie. At the same time, also teaching him how to read lips and start life over again. 

The film follows the relentless pursuit of happiness. The story moves forward by exploring themes such as depression, insanity and alcohol or substance abuse. The story, beyond a certain point, starts becoming an effort to recapture the past bliss that he once enjoyed. There are multiple flaws in the storytelling style and yet many of the scenes with its well intentioned ideas. Scenes such as the ringing tinnitus and the conversion of sound into visible waves and the trimming of the treble and bass which produce an underwater effect is amazing and realistic.

This movie has been billed as a "mockumentary" but considering the impact and storyline of the film, it wouldn't be wrong to label this film as drama. There's an unexpected tenderness in the sincerity with which the filmmaker Dowse plunges into the disability mode without really falling into the stereotypes of disabled movies. The film has a false sense of authenticity since it opens with sound bytes received from several DJs. Summing up, this film is bright, noisy and surprisingly fulfilling which keeps the adrenaline rush under deceptively easy control. At the centre of all this is Paul Kaye, whose flat-out brilliant performance wins my vote! 


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