VOD Release: Svengali
By John Corrado
A charming indie dramedy set in the music industry, Svengali is being released nationwide on all Video On Demand platforms this week. The film follows Dixie (Jonny Owen), an optimistic local from a small mining town in Wales, who moves to London with his girlfriend Shell (Vicky McClure), to follow his dreams of managing a garage band that he discovers on the internet.
Although Dixie fancies himself as one of the great pioneers of music, the big city and cutthroat world of record producers lead to a pretty big culture clash with his humble working class upbringing and unwavering can-do spirit.
Directed by John Hardwick, Svengali is worth seeing for the likeable leading work of Jonny Owen, who grounds the film with an appealing tragicomic performance, and also produced it and wrote the script. Although the final scene isn’t entirely satisfying, this is still an enjoyable and frequently charming diversion, that boasts a solid soundtrack and is filled with references for music lovers to appreciate. Also watch for the always delightful Martin Freeman in his few brief scenes as a pompous mod record shop owner.
Svengali is 93 minutes and unrated.