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Svengali review

Doesn't hit all the right notes

Likeable casting can’t quite salvage director John Hardwick’s threadbare British pop comedy, under-developed from a web series.

Fish-out-of-water clichés aren’t enough to hide the gaping plot cracks as Welsh postman Dixie (Jonny Owen, who also wrote/produced) tries, haplessly, to promote an inexplicably rising indie band in London.

Lent stalwart support by Vicky McClure ( This Is England ), Owen convinces as a sweet dope.

But Matt Berry’s leering label boss, Martin Freeman’s grumpy shop-owner and several pop cameos (label maverick Alan McGee, The Libertines’ Carl Barat) play like sketch matter, better suited to this spread-thin project’s online origins.

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Kevin Harley

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.