The story of Clowns is best summed up by a bystander who witnesses the main plot device: “Was that just four clowns kidnapping a Turkish lad?”
Andy (Davey Sullivan), Fleabag (Graham Feeley), Chains (Ollie Keogh) and Marcus (Andrew Neenan) are an Irish gang with seldom an intelligent thought between them. Needing money to pay off a debt, they set out to kidnap a rich man to settle their debts, and hopefully make some profit too. Outfitted with matching clown masks and jammed into a tiny car, the four set off to kidnap the unsuspecting Ravi (Biju Nair). Of course, nothing goes as planned.
The trickiest part of the film is understanding the characters. It’s hard enough when they’re talking with their normal Irish brogue, but once they put on the clown masks then you really have to put some work in. That said, if you do listen closely, it’s actually pretty funny.
These four malcontents are up there with the most incompetent criminals to ever attempt a kidnapping. It’s bad enough that they decide to commit their crime in broad daylight, but they also use a jalopy that’s too small, prone to not starting and low on gas. On top of that, when Ravi is recognized at a traffic stop by a passerby (Florian Zapra), the clowns then find themselves increasing their kidnap victim count. And things just keep getting worse from there.
Now, I didn’t like the ending; it felt like a lazy cop-out, and is one of the main reasons I didn’t rate the film higher than I did. Other than that, though, I loved the film and found it hilarious.
And it’d be something if it just rested on its humor, but the film also looks good and employs a number of camera tricks to give it a more professional look and feel (the clarity of the footage shot from the car hood, for example, is something you might take for granted if you’ve never tried it before, or seen it done horribly in other films). The audio could’ve been better, though; I mentioned the difficulty in understanding the clowns when masked, and I feel that had the volume in the mix been raised a bit more, it would’ve gone miles to help out that problem. Regardless, Clowns is still one funny film of kidnapping gone awry.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.