Heavily press-attacked upon its release in the year 2000 for its apparent pack of quality in all areas, Honest was one of the films I havent seen for many years (since the year 2000 actually) but wanted to revisit as part of my ‘revisiting’ series of reviews and views that i have been working my way through recently.
Billed as an ‘edgy black comedy set in swinging London in the late 60s’ according to IMDB, Honest is set in the 60s, so that part is right, however im not sure at all about the comedy part of that summary. Even black comedies are meant to have a few laughs in the film but Honest is very much lacking, even in the chuckle department, with the only time i chuckled (yes once) was by a line delivered by James Cosmo (‘I boxed for money’) The rest of the film is actually more quirky caper movie and whilst there is nothing wrong with that, I can see why the critics went after this film upon its release.
But is the film as bad as its made out to be. No is my answer. Don’t get me wrong, Honest isn’t going to end up on my Top 100 list, but not would it end up on my worst film list either (If i created such a thing) The film is an easy to watch quirky, odd, bonkers film which is let down by the main thing that it doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Its not funny enough to be a comedy, its not serious enough to be a serious crime drama, and the film seems to struggle to decide what it is and for an audience, that is always confusing.
The cast are fine, and the three leads, Nicole and Natalie Appleton, and Melanie Blatt are charming and quirky and fun to watch on screen, so when the critics went after them, I cant help feel it was mainly because they were known as singers (from the group All Saints) and the media wanted to put them back in that box and keep that label on them. They didn’t seem out of place playing the lead in this film about a crime gang in the late 60s and gave off perfectly that 60s vibe.
The films cinematography and direction is also fine (direction by David A Stewart of Eurythmics game), even if the film does throw in from time to time some trippy psychedelic effects which do take you a little out of the film and easily some of the worst disguise make up ive seen since Bruce Willis wore a mullet in The Jackal,, so for me the problem with the main lie pretty much on the films identity. So is Honest worth a viewing. Yes I think so, Its an odd, bonkers, film but if you’ve heard about how terrible this film is but haven’t yet watched it, do check it out and make up your own mind. Critics and reviews are fine, but they are just our opinions and doesn’t everyone love a film that pretty much everyone else hates.