Such a freaking weird and conflicting movie. Although I’ve watched it a couple of days ago, I still cannot wrap my head around it, a classical British conundrum. More light on the issue was shed when I learned that the basis for Sightseers is a TV movie Nuts in May, aired on BBC back in 1976, so expect that Monty Python vibe. Five minutes in, I was already depressed by the movie so be prepared for that overall gloomy atmosphere that darkens the hearts of the most cheerful ones. I’m not saying that Sightseers is purely a British film for British people, the story is much more similar to an American road trip extravaganza to the point that it can be compared to Natural Born Killers. Of course, when it comes to the comedy part, you can expect a lot of black humor, all with sex, violence, blood, and murder.
Tina, a young woman living with her overly controlling mother, has finally found herself a boyfriend. Chris is an outgoing and generally cheerful person (at least at first sight) looking for that spark of life that will guide him for the rest of the journey. Since Tina spent almost all of her life with her mother at home, an invitation for a road trip is something that she cannot miss. Although the sights that they are about to visit aren’t much, they’re still more than nothing (current situation). Tina and Chris at first seem like just any other couple, but as time goes on we soon realize that this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Self-righteousness is the word you are looking for upon watching this movie. Sightseers is a movie that tackles a lot of big issues, while seemingly making a murder/rampage/comedy movie. I know that it sounds strange, but it is what it is. Class segregation, overbearing parents, lack of general direction in life and finally the most important thing: love. Strangely enough, you can watch this movie over and over again examining these issues one by one, via the dynamic relationship between Chris and Tina.
Of course, the depressing tone and that Omni-directional approach to storytelling make this quite difficult. It’s like when Cyclops took off his visor and just could not contain the intensity and the direction of his vision. The same thing can be said about Sightseers, a movie that doesn’t follow that standard pattern: intro, complication, knick-knacks, and finally, in the end, the starting issue is resolved and we are richer for an experience. One thing is for sure, you will be richer for an experience.
Finally, if you’re looking for something similar I recommend you check out Ben Wheatley’s next movie about two hitmen Kill List. After these two movies you will be pretty combobulated so I suggest you top off the Wheatley marathon with his by far best movie: Free Fire. Enjoy.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Tony Way, Monica Dolan, Jonathan Aris, Richard Lumsden
Fun Facts: Ribblehead viaduct is 440 yards long, and 104 feet above the valley floor at its highest point. It is made up of twenty-four arches of 45 feet span, with foundations 25 feet deep. The north end of the viaduct is 13 feet higher in elevation than the south end. 1.5 million bricks were used in the construction and some of the limestone blocks weighed 8 tons each.