Film 24 Hour Party People attempts something which many British films are forgetting to do. It’s reflecting upon our past for the audience who lived in the time, not pandering to the needs of the global market place. In case, however, the approach fails because it largely depends on the memory of the audience and trusting that they had been in the area at the time. The are in-jokes about The Factory nightclub and Hacienda which will only be intelligible to people who frequented these places and for some of the film it’s these moments which the story relaxes into.

There isn’t actually anything wrong with most of the performances. Steve Coogan is particularly good and for viewers who never knew Tony Wilson might work. If however you’ve seen the presenter even on the fabled ‘Granada Reports’ his appearance here feels wrong. It’s parody to the point of irrelevance, but it is to Wilson’s credit (or detriment) that he let such an unsympathetic portrayal pass.

The main problem is information. Even though this is a bio-pic, certain things are never adequately explained. What was Wilson’s obsession with a waster like Shaun Ryder? If he is in real life anything like the Steve Coogan version, how can anyone still be speaking to him, especially his ex-beauty queen wife? Why do some of the people from New Order still seem to be hanging around that office with that table all those years later – we assume it’s because they own part of the company but we don’t know … and how come if they own part of the company why aren’t they rushing out those fabled new albums … would that make financial sense?

In a word, read the book and wait for the video…

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