This blistering Lost Weekend for the rave generation takes
audiences on a searing, frenetically paced, dazzling, chemically
fuelled journey through Britain's rave culture of the late '90's.
Those looking for a lazy comparison will inevitably compare this film
with Trainspotting. Admittedly, this energetic, drug fuelled, wildly
cinematic ride through Britain's club scene and rave culture bears
some superficial similarities with that ground breaking Scottish film.
This impressive film debut from writer/director Justin Kerrigan is
imbued with a similar sense of dynamic energy, momentum and bravura
visual flair that cuts to the core of youth consciousness.
Almost plotless, the film follows a group of five
twentysomethings through a weekend of drugs, sex, club crawling and
deals. It centres around five friends - Jip, Lulu, Koop, Nina and
eager young Cockney lad Moff, the party animal - who use the club
scene as a way to escape the drudgery and boredom of their week day
routine, spent working or bludging on the dole. The partying begins
on Friday night and they begin to dry out on Sunday afternoon.
The film looks at the sexual hang-ups, the drug induced
paranoia and the attitudes of its protagonists with humour and an
unflinching honesty. However it's unflinching view of the excesses of
today's youth will not appeal to all audiences.
This is something of a personal film for Kerrigan, who has had
first hand experience of the scene. He has drawn upon a lot of his
own personal experiences for the characters, and has put himself on
the line with this film. Kerrigan brings a flamboyant, often surreal,
visual style and cutting humour to the material. He cleverly uses
monologues and different points-of-view to offer insights into this
He also draws superbly natural, and largely improvised
performances from his young and enthusiastic, and largely unknown,
cast, most of whom are new to feature films. Newcomer Danny Dyer is
wonderful as Moff, the youngest member of the group, and his energetic
performance comes close to stealing the film. Human Traffic does not
really espouse an anti-drugs message. Rather, it speaks to the
consciousness of its hip young audience.
Whereas films like the classic Saturday Night Fever and the
recent 54, etc, explored the disco scene of the '70's, Human Traffic
has an immediacy and relevance for today's audience, who have
experienced the rave and club scene. The action is accompanied by a
sizzling soundtrack assembled by noted DJ Peter Tong, and features
artists like C J Bolland, Fat Boy Slim, Orbital, etc. Human Traffic
goes off, and will likely attain the same sort of cult status as
Copyright © 1999 Greg King