Review: Set in the months leading up to the Brexit referendum that took place on 23rd June 2016, director Toby Haynes attempts a critique of contemporary British society. He also illustrates how politically motivated fake news has become mainstream through the use of social media by rogue agents without accountability.
Benedict Cumberbatch adopts a condescending tone as the eccentric Dominic Cummings who, to quote the film, single-handedly successfully ‘hacks the system’….okay, well, I feel like I’m describing Sherlock here. Or is it The Imitation Game? Don’t get me wrong, Cumberbatch does here what he does best and offers us an insight into how today’s electoral battles are fought. This feels quite relevant in the age of Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandals and whatnot. However, where this movie falls apart from me is how the director fails to separate fact from fiction and his treatment of other key players.
Cummings appears to be the sole protagonist of this show and other players like Nigel Farage, Arron Banks and Matthew Elliott are reduced to cardboard characters. Members of Parliament are treated as insufferable fools who have no idea about their constituencies. And get this – the part where Cummings is presenting evidence at a public hearing? That never happened!
My rating for this film is a generous 2/5.
Who should watch this: This Brexit film lacks the acerbic wit of films like In The Loop or the pure shock factor of Black Mirror’s The National Anthem or The Waldo Moment. So all the Benedict Cumberbatch fans out there, watch it as a bonus episode of Sherlock.