The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Beat Girl | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Beat Girl

A young classical musician enters the world of DJing.

Directed by: Mairtin de Barra
Starring: Louise Dylan, Craig Daniel Adams, Michael Higgs

'Beat Girl' follows Heather (Dylan), an aspiring classical musician. Following in the footsteps of her recently deceased mother she plans to go to Juilliard Music School. Forced by circumstance to live with her estranged father (Higgs) and with her music scholarship rejected, Heather for reasons too convoluted and quiet frankly boring to go into, decides to become a DJ in order to fund her studies. Will she embrace the world of club DJing? Will the siren song of classical music call her home? Quiet frankly by the end of this inane drivel not only will you not care you will actively be wishing her to fail.
It's always difficult to be to harsh to a first time film-maker. So many allowances have to be made with regards to budget, availability of talent and so forth that their studio based brethren take for granted. Creative energy and inventiveness are the cornerstones of any quirky independent film. That this movie has none of these touches and feels like an episode of 'Hollyoaks' on permanent loop is the least of its problems.
For a film about music it lacks soul and an understanding of both different disciplines. Any club DJ would be insulted by the way it portrays their craft. In the world of 'Beat Girl' a character has a natural aptitude because they know what a cross-fader is. Heather is mentored by music shop impresario and possible love interest Toby (Adams) in a performance so unctuous and creepy that you will think he is grooming her for sex trafficking. He gives her 12 CD's and before you know it she's raising the roof like Pete Tong to a procession of fist bumping mouth breathers eager to be patronized by a simpering, middle class pianist who has worked out this racket in an afternoon.
It makes the film so dramatically inert. Where is the tension? The drama? Can't get a scholarship? Don't worry, any moron can make a grand a night at a club. Problem solved. But oh shall I choose Juilliard or the giddy heights of Ibiza? Seeing as I have studied one for five minutes and the other for the whole of my life the decision should be a no-brainer. Heather is a character so naïve that you think the twist might be that she is an alien a la 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'. It's not that she doesn't understand club culture. It's that she doesn't seem to have ever had a drink, been to a club or actually listened to music before.
Throw in a sub plot with her half brother, also to do with being a DJ, who at fourteen is in hock for the price of some decks to the local Mr Big who brings all the subdued menace of 'Play School' era Derek Griffiths. Add a gay fashion designer so irritating that he could make Peter Tatchell into a rabid homophobe and you realize that Heather's Mum made the most sensible decision by dying before the film starts.
A film both achingly predictable and Nuclear weapons grade awful at the same time, with a final scene that would have Ed Wood smiling down approvingly from above.

Jason Abbey