By Norman Smee
The eagerly anticipated new Ken Loach Film, “White Van, Hope, Pebbledashed” which got its debut last night, has been met with a frosty reception from critics.
The four hour working-class epic, which focuses on one man in a suit, reciting spoken word poetry to no-one outside of a bleak looking council house in Surrey, has been widely panned as ‘over indulgent’ and ‘just plain dull’, by those who attended the advance screening last night, which was projected onto the side of some bins round the back of Lidl in Barnsley.
Critic Michaela Strawmichael said: “I’ve always been a fan of the hard hitting Ken Loach dramas, a director famously unafraid to shine a harsh light onto the oft overlooked plight of those living in the really crap bits of England, but this latest piece just seemed a bit over the top. It was less tearjerker and more, well…who is this guy? And why am I listening to him?
“it starts off well enough, the suited man starts going on about hope, and ‘we must do better’ and ‘there is another way’ and all this bobbins, and you’re like ‘yeah, let’s do this!’….but then it’s like an hour later and, well, you’re wondering when he’s going to get to the point, and actually announce something.”
Fellow critic Harvey Hogwash agreed, “It’s difficult enough to focus with all that pebbledash going on, but there are numerous odd plot threads that don’t make any sense.”
“For example - about halfway through the monologue, a stray dog walks onscreen and does his business, and then just sort of sits there, awkwardly, scratching himself. And then later on some bloke leans out of a nearby upstairs window and yells ‘STARMER, YOU WANKER’ at the top of his lungs, with no contextual relevance to anything else in the plot. It’s nonsensical, and you’re left at the end of it saying ‘what did I actually learn about this guy, other than he hates the current system?’
“Though having said that, it’s still a massive improvement on Loach’s last film, which just featured some delusional bearded chap waffling on about some mad Zionist conspiracy, for about two years longer than the plot merited.”