The Wedding Guest review – Michael Winterbottom thriller runs out of fizz
Dev Patel stars as a Brit who shops for duct tape and handguns before turning up at an arranged marriage in Pakistan
Film-maker Michael Winterbottom has always been a powerhouse of ideas and a uniquely valuable presence in the British industry – this prolific and eclectic director has taken on every kind of genre. (Maybe the nearest American equivalent is Steven Soderbergh.) Recently, he had great successes with his terrific music movie On the Road (2016), his Russell Brand documentary The Emperor’s New Clothes (2015), and The Trip, the foodie-travel comedy series with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
Now as writer-director he returns to a theme he has explored in the past: the UK’s connection with south Asia, with an interesting but ultimately disappointing drama-thriller. It has an intriguing premise and a gripping first act. But the ending fizzles when it should explode, giving us neither the twisty and suspenseful entertainment that it seemed to promise, nor the serious response to sexual politics in Pakistan that also seemed to be on offer. Yet the initial scenes are laid out with enormous elan and a tremendous flair for location work.Continue reading...