“Kill Your Friends”: Patrick Bateman in the world of 90s English Pop!Owen Harris is far from being an unknown figure. He is a director who made a name for himself in “the series” with “MisFits” and “Black Mirror.” Though different from each other, these two series come together in their slight touch of fantasy, with the latter delving into science fiction, and especially in the somewhat cynical tone that emerges from the rather pessimistic narrative. “Kill Your Friends” is the director’s film.
The stage is set. We find ourselves in London at the dawn of the 90s. At this time, the British capital is the center of the music world. In the 90s, music stars aren’t named Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar; they are in the realm of Pop, a typically English musical genre like the rock of the 70s. Some years ago, Scorsese tried his hand at depicting 70s rock in the USA with the series “Vinyl.” The series, which aimed for a somewhat gritty and humorous style, never quite delved into its subject and ended up providing a rather poor glimpse of a topic that deserved much better than its clumsy execution. “Vinyl” was ultimately abandoned after one season.
Owen Harris’s film is far less “ambitious.” By delving into dark humor and driven by the eccentric character of Steven Stelfox, portrayed on screen by Nicolas Hoult, the film ultimately presents a picture very close to reality with highly caricatured characters. Steven Stelfox wants to run a major record label, and for that, he employs methods reminiscent of those used by José Garcia in Costa Gavras’s “Le Couperet” (The Ax). Murder, poisoning, and betrayal; this is the music world that Harris depicts.
This Pop of the 90s in London is the bonfire of vanities.