Director: Reggie Yates
Writer: Reggie Yates
Starring: Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters, Reda Elazouar, Kassius Nelson, Youssef Kerkour, and Rebekah Murrell
Reggie Yates makes his directorial debut with Pirates, which he also wrote. It’s his first full length film after making shorts and a TV film last year. As you’d expect, with Yate’s background as a radio DJ and Top of the Pops host, Pirates is a love-letter to garage music of the 90s. It’s also an entertaining and at points moving film about friendship and growing up.
It’s 1999 and Cappo (Elliot Edusah) is coming back home from university for New Years. His one thought is that he has to tell his best friends Two Tonne (Jordan Peters) and Kidda (Reda Elazouar) that he’s not going to manage their group anymore. He finds that his friend’s pirate radio show is picking up and growing in numbers. Without knowing Cappo’s plans, the three friends set out for one last night like the good old days before everything changes.
At its heart this film is about three eighteen-year-olds who are on the cusp of adulthood. Kidda keeps on saying that he doesn’t like change, and that’s what’s happening to the world around him. It’s a new year, new millennium and things can’t always stay the same. It’s a coming-of-age story that feels very relatable.
The three main cast are excellent. They’re instantly likable and all three give a fantastic performance. You instantly believe they are best friends with the way they interact with each other. The dynamic between them is why this film is so good. They’re really funny and you just get a sense of their relationship straight away. Reda Elazouar is incredibly funny, with so many one-liners and jokes that had everyone laughing. All three of them are great, but Elazouar steals the show.
While the film isn’t even eighty minutes in length, and it does absolutely fly by, a lot happens. They go on a mini-road trip to get the tickets to an exclusive new year’s party. After the tickets, they still have time to plan a heist to get clothing, that has a nice spin on some of the tropes of the genre, a haircut, and get a meal before heading to the party. There’s not one moment that feels like it’s slow. It starts out at a high speed and carries on right through to the end. If anything, you want to spend more time with the fantastic characters once it’s over.
Behind almost every moment of the film is a soundtrack of garage music that punctuates everything on screen. Even if this isn’t the style of music you’re usually into, the passion from the cast and Yates is so infectious that you’ll enjoy it regardless.
Prates strangely shares some plot points with another British comedy from this year, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan. It’s not exactly the same, but they are comparable. While People Just Do Nothing was entertaining, Pirates is the better film. The cast are incredible, and the comedy is brilliant.
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