EMO THE MUSICAL | REVIEW

I was sent a press invite to attend a screening of EMO THE MUSICAL and was intrigued. I had never heard of it. Based on the 2014 Berlinale award winning short film, my initial thoughts from the trailer were that EMO THE MUSICAL looked like a well written smart ass satire. I was sold. I couldn’t make the media times and was fortunate enough to be invited to the premiere. What was even more fortunate and a bit surreal was sitting down a few rows from the back and having most of the cast sit all around us. It made the world of difference watching and hearing their reactions to their and their friends own performances.

EMO THE MUSICAL is out now on art-house release. It runs for 94mins and is rated M. It is released independently from Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Bonsai Films.

Following cinema release EMO THE MUSICAL will then be made available around the world including local broadcasters and VOD platforms such as iTunes and Google Play and subscription services, around September 2017.

 

Emo The Musical Benson Jack Anthony as Ethan image

 

BY

EMO THE MUSICAL PLOT:

Emo Ethan has just been expelled from private-school after attempting suicide in the courtyard.

On his first day at his new school – the dilapidated Seymour High – he meets Trinity, a totally naive but cute Christian girl who is desperate to convert him to Jesus.

But joining the Christian evangelists is the last thing on Ethan’s mind. What he really wants is to join the school alternative rock band ‘Worst Day Ever’ and to be part of the Emo clique, led by the enigmatic and dangerous Bradley.

After a successful audition Ethan is welcomed into the Emo world and embraces his image – complete with black eye-liner and coupled up with a violently possessive girlfriend, Roz.

But Ethan can’t stop thinking about Trinity, who is herself stuck in a restrictive world of dogma and denial, and they secretly fall in love.

With the looming annual State School Rock Competition bringing tensions in the school to an all time high, and with the burgeoning turf war between the Christians and the Emos set to explode at any moment, Ethan is forced to confront the harebrained actions of his friends and question who he has become.

 

Emo the Musical - The Church Band image

 

EMO V CHURCH:

e·mo [ i mṓ ] An entire subculture of people (usually angsty teens) with a fake personality.
Basically the modern day goths.

EMO THE MUSICAL is surprisingly bloody awesome. I never expected much from it and came out incredibly happy and satisfied having laughed my heart out. It is a cleverly written story that takes the piss out of emos and also their churchy counterparts. It’s the light versus dark but neither is holier than the other. It is teens who have selected a path, a niche, and they are worlds apart but pretty much the same. Ethan and Trinity are the Romeo and Juliet (without the truly emo death) of the warring sides.

Some of the emo jokes go a little too far but I loved this – the movie is so nice and innocent but may be a little offensive. I can see some offense being taken from certain members of the public. A bible is burnt and pages torn out to roll joints and basically a Jesus on the Cross is set on fire. But it will be made even worse by the fantastic song “Jesus was an Emo.”

It’s great timing for its release with 13 REASONS WHY and it’s look at suicide being controversial and taking the world by storm. I hope EMO THE MUSICAL takes the world by storm but it is a lot more tongue in cheek.

While the movie starts out very black and white with opposing sides in the end it is about them seeing past their differences and doing what is right. It is light and it is fun and I enjoyed it but I would have loved to have seen more of the jokes, more of the emo thought process going all the way to the end. Towards the end it seemed to fit the stereotypical format. Really really funny at the beginning and then peter out during progression.

TECHNICAL:

Huge applause to writer and director . Incredibly talented with his writing and his direction. He has made a great debut and I hope it takes off for him. The potential for his writing is huge, the humor is darker than Bradley’s eye shadow, but holds limited offense (well for me anyway). That’s a winning combination. I also think he should stick with this movie and develop it as a stage production – it would be marvelous and up their with BOOK OF MORMAN. The songs are already perfected, and the screenplay wouldn’t be too hard to adapt for the stage.

Two final technical items that need applause – firstly the music in EMO THE MUSICAL is just marvelous. I am pretty certain we are to thank Charlotte Nicdao and Craig Pilkington for the music with, I am certain, some lyrics from Triffett. And lastly whoever did the marketing for this movie needs a pay rise. The website HERE and all the marketing material, posters, online and film imagery is top notch and not something I would expect from a smaller art-house movie.

 

Emo The Musical Rahart Adams as Bradley image

 

THE CAST:

The cast impressed and never annoyed. I knew two people in the movie. as Bradley (2nd from left below) and as Mrs Doyle. I loved Rahart in THE NOWHERE BOYS (ABC Guilty pleasure viewing for me) and Bridie is from McLeaod’s Daughters, Home and Away and has been around for quite a while. Rahart looks so bloody good as an Emo – he was gorgeous, I think I had some emo crushing reminding me of the goth I dated growing up who wanted to worship Robert Smith from The Cure until the end of time. They explained to me back then that an emo either died by thirty or became a normal human after that haha. Oh the memories. It was disappointing Rahart wasn’t at the premiere, would have loved to have met him.

Bridie Carter stole a lot of the scenes she was in. A manic depressed teacher who handed out serotonin boosters to the students like they were candy. She had some hilarious scenes.

nailed the role of Ethan. His roles in 800 WORDS and CLEVERMAN I am yet to see but I liked what I saw. was as good as his love interest and the churchy innocent, Trinity. They made a great couple in the movie. Finally special mention to as Isaac, the immoral confused leader of the church band. The holier-than-thou Christian hiding the pregnancy of his Sri Lankan girlfriend who he truly believes the church saved from the slums of India. Loved his performance.

 

Emo The Musical The Emo Side of the School image

 

IN CONCLUSION:

I highly recommend this little surprise movie. EMO THE MUSICAL is clever and it made me cry with laughter. If you are highly religious you will find this offensive and if a serious dark emo necromancer wanna-be you may actually laugh, ruining everything. See it for the songs and the humor and for it’s light-hearted nature. I would go as far as saying good for the whole family. Best of luck to cast and crew with the release.

 

 

 

YOUR CRITIC:

 owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the  industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan.  ** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.