Sightseers

To be blunter than this film really deserves, Sightseers is a black comedy which is crushingly low on the comedy side of things. One cannot condemn a film for not being funny, even if it was sold as a comedy – we are not slaves to genre, which is good because Sightseers does not lend itself to high concept style one sentence descriptions. None the less my attempt reads thusly: ‘A film wherein a couple explore the English countryside, their own neurosis and their burgeoning love, through the rubric of serial murder’. The film had the potential to be a number of quite exciting things – it begins as if it might actually have something to say about social mobility, and it did, even in this crippled state generate a thought provoking discussion about the motives and minds of its leading couple. However this early promise, a British Bonnie and Clyde, with all of the pent up sexual energy and psycological mystique that story evokes, is cast aside for a rather depressing and meaningless third act. Herein lies the issue. None of this would have mattered if it had ramped up the laughs, nobody would care it if was a good excuse to string together a set of serial killer jokes. The juxtaposition of the innocence and beauty of the British countryside with the violence of the muders was already surreal enough, a little more blood and it could easily have generated a nervous laugh. The other option would have been to take out the really forced laughs entirely and fully explore the issues it raises in the first half, rather than chickening out with an ending that could mean anything to anyone, and so ends up not meaning much at all. 

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