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April 2011

The Drummond Will

cast: Mark Oosterveen, Philip James, Jonathan Hasler, Keith Parry, and Victoria Jeffrey

director: Alan Butterworth

81 minutes (15) 2010
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Brit Films DVD Region 2

RATING: 3/10
review by Tony Hill

The Drummond Will

Conventionally designated as 'black comedy', this oddball movie is more like a black farce. It is the directorial debut for Alan Butterworth and, although possessing a few nice touches, it looks, to me, more like a media studies thesis piece. It is extremely low budget with a cast of complete unknowns. This is not to say that the actors don't do their best but they are caught in the 'hammy' style which the director obviously wanted.

The basic plot situation is not original: two sons, Marcus (Mark Oosterveen) a city thrusters, and Danny (Philip James) a free-spirited semi-layabout, become the beneficiaries of their long lost father's estate. He made no will (whatever the film title says) and they inherit as they are the only surviving relatives. The 'estate' consists of a rundown cottage in the depths of the countryside - cue all sorts of strange yokels - and its contents. Of course, the contents include a very large sum of money. As you can imagine, all sorts of problems occur involving the various yokels to prevent them maintaining possession of the money.

As this is a black farce, it involves many bodies of one sort or another and the village police constable (Jonathan Hasler) plus bicycle, has to try and make out what is going on. The action involves many of the yokels including Uncle Rufus (Keith Parry), the Colonel (Eryl Lloyd Parry), and Betty (Victoria Jeffrey) the barmaid in the local pub.

There is a lot of general shouting and running about and a few genuinely amusing episodes - lookout for the caravan, and later, the car at the crossroads - but overall the impression is of 'silliness'. Those movie watchers who just like to 'look' rather than 'think' will almost certainly enjoy it. But those wanting something more than a bit of slapstick will feel disappointed.

Perhaps Alan Butterworth can go on to better things after this career rehearsal. The couple of flashes of interest here suggest that he could but I would reserve judgement until after his next offering.



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