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Film Review: “SVENGALI” (2013) ★★★


In case you decide to leave your small town to chase a big dream, remember to be persistent, otherwise it`s won`t be that easy to achieve your ambition. Having said that, persistence is the main characteristic of Dixie (Jonny Owen), a provincial man from an idle mining town in Wales, when he decides to become a manager of the biggest band in the world. Certainly, no one expects him to discover another Beatles, but it won’t hurt if the new band achieves a challenging task: to capture millions of musically-addicted souls.

Dixie has a musical ear that helps him to identify potential talent. After hearing a song performed by a group of young musicians online, he falls in love with the band and wishes to be their manager. That brings him to the big London with ample   opportunities. Not having much money, Dixie and his girlfriend, Shell (Vicky McClure), rent a humble apartment where he hopes the big start will begin. Using an old-fashioned audio cassette, Dixie starts asking the managers of big music studios to listen to the recorded music, assuring them that he had found a band that would be admired and loved through generations.

As the film progresses, Dixie has to face up too many troubles, and one of them is his debt which he is demanded to pay back sooner rather than later. As Dixie continues to pursue his dream, he stops paying attention to what happens in front of him, which makes him sometimes to act like a child. But his kind heart and naïve personality prevents him from acting aggressively in order to achieve his goal. Can a little fish in a pond survive in a big ocean full of hungry-for-fame music managers? This is the question you must ask after you watch “SVENGALI”.

“SVENGALI” is written by Jonny Owen and directed by John Hardwick. Although this film was intended as a comedy, it still has an element of drama which fills the viewer’s heart with joy, and then to sorrow. That, of course, happens due to the problems our hero must deal with. In spite of all that, Hardwick’s film delivers abundant laughter, and you will enjoy the film throughout. In the end, this film makes Dixie believe that a provincial guy can become somebody if he follows his dream to the end. However, the solution provided by the writer is much more than Dixie had expected. Which is all this film was about….

UK indie music dramedy SVENGALI is released nationwide on VOD on January 12, 2016


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