Three years almost after its initial release in the UK, Music-Dramedy SVENGALI gets a release domestically, even if in Home Entertainment format. The Film written, directed by and starring Welshman Jonny Owen centers on Dixie (Owen), a naïve Postman who leaves his life behind in South Wales, taking his girlfriend Shell (Vicky McClure) to London, as he decides one day to pursue his dream of becoming Music’s next Svengali.
He comes across on the internet, a promising quartet The Premature Congratulations and is set on becoming their manager as they are on the verge of big breakthrough. Barely able to make ends meet, taking-up odd jobs, including one at a record shop owned by Don (Martin Freeman), he embarks on a mission to achieve the dream of a lifetime even if it comes at all expenses, including losing the woman he loves most.
Despite playing into every single possible stereotype in the Music industry, from seedy A&R types to Rock & Roll egos, Owen succeeds at engaging us in a story where we never are sure if the parka-clad Hero will win in the end. Set to a great soundtrack that includes The Libertines, The Jesus and Mary Chain and more, we are swept away into Dixie‘s world.
And although Dixie comes with his share of flaws, Owen brings to life a character whose sheer drive to make his dream happen, sparking just enough inspiration in you to make this a worthwhile watch. Regardless of what the outcome was in the end, part of the fun was the journey that Dixie goes through to grow as a person in staying true to himself and his dream.
Root Films release SVENGALI, out now on VOD.