ONE Direction: This Is Us simply doesn’t work as a film.
The premise is ludicrous. I mean, who would ever believe that five random boys (who refer to themselves as ‘lads’, a term that immediately warrants a stern slap around the back of the head) would be plucked out of nowhere by a seemingly popular talent show and raised to global stardom? Where is the struggle? Where is the emotional journey? Where is the true investment that makes a film worth seeing?
The script is also beyond the pale. Seriously, it is awful. Absolutely awful. It’s doubtful that the concept would’ve been made better by a competent script, but it could’ve at least been made more realistic. Lines such as “it’s akin to Beatlemania!” only set the tone for how bad the script is, and provide a note of arrogance that is almost offensive to the ear. And as for the constant, hysterical cries of “we love you One Direction!”… Call me a traditionalist, but I believe that a script needs more than five words to be a success.
And that brings me onto another terrible thing about the film – the acting. The performances are terrible. Nobody gives their character any emotional depth, any nuances. They’re like cardboard cutouts, the only one who actually does any acting is the cardboard cutout! And as for the approach of the casting director to cameos… Chris Rock almost makes sense, but Martin Scorsese? It’s yet another thing that pushes the boundaries of reality in an entirely unacceptable way.
As do the characters. Call me a traditionalist yet again, but I’m pretty sure that characters are supposed to have at least a few endearing traits. The main five have their moments, but by the seventy minute mark you start to grow tired of their apparently humorous antics. Their relatives are also decently likable, sometimes almost reaching the heights of endearing! But the true problem, for me, lies with the backing cast. There are very few endearing characters in that mass of people. In particular, the character of Simon Cowell instantly got on my nerves. How could anybody think that such a creation is actually a likable figure?
One Direction: This is Us is a shambles. It’s an alright movie if you like slightly obnoxious teenagers somehow rising to stardom due to the machinations of one of the least likable characters known to mankind, but otherwise it is decidedly poor. I would suggest watching almost anything else – y’know, like an actual film.