"Scherfig doesn’t hold back in displaying the warts and all of the vastly over privileged undergraduates"
Arrogance, debauchery and a tremendously high sense of self entitlement are just some of the irksome traits the ten egotistical members of the infamous Riot Club possess. Based on Laura Wade’s 2010 critically acclaimed play entitled Posh, which saw Wade fictionalise Oxford’s legendary Bullingdon Club that comprised of numerous prominent and powerful members such as David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson to name but a few. Now Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education, One Day) undertakes the task of bringing this notorious university club to life on the silver screen.
Set within the opulent world of the privileged elite studying at one of the world’s most renowned and historic universities, The Riot Club follows two new first year students and rivals, the ambitious Miles (Max Irons) and the thoroughly odious Alistair (Sam Claflin), during freshers’ week both boys are singled out as potential new Riot Club candidates, much to their jubilation. After passing an extensive and arduous series of initiation tests Miles and Alistair prepare to dine as official Riot Club members for the very first time.
Having been banned from most eating establishments in Oxford due to the nature of their unruly get togethers, the club convene in a rural country pub to engage in an evening of decadence and depravity. As alcohol and drugs are consumed on mass the evening inevitably descends into chaos, resulting in brutal violence with a flinch inducing outcome.
This cinematic release arrives at a delicate time for the current powers that be, subsequently being in the company of abhorrent toffs for nearly two hours may not be most people’s first choice of filmic entertainment. Scherfig doesn’t hold back in displaying the warts and all of the vastly over privileged undergraduates, while they maybe oil paintings to look at the destructive darkness ripples and expands throughout the group as time wears on.
Verdict – With a cast list boasting the who’s who of up and coming UK acting talent, The Riot Club exposes the repulsive side of the potential future ruling elite. A fury inducing experience, double bill The Riot Club with Pride to experience the contrasting ends of the class divide.