Taking its title from a Terry Wogan interview, music documentary After The Screaming Stops is not some sort of existential crisis about a horror killer getting bored post-bloodletting but is instead a thoughtful, funny though somewhat artificial look at the reunion of 80’s boyband Bros.
Matt and Luke Goss are two very different men, Matt lives his life singing in expensive casinos in Las Vegas, Luke indulges what he says is his real passion, Film. These two very separate lives come together when they decide to reform for a reunion tour, the reasons for which are frustratingly never revealed, and a fair amount of uncomfortable chaos commences.
At first, the film breezes by on. charm and goofiness. Luke seems to be a very well-adjusted, nice guy who lives life on his own terms and Matt… is a charming idiot. Right from the off, his proclamations about his obsession with his Bandana and his annoyance about kids not being able to play with conkers of all things paints the picture of a man who isn’t very self-aware but does appear genuine.
As the film goes on, these rather two-dimensional views start to be fleshed out as very real sibling grievances come to the fore, what starts as casual sniping at each other becomes rather more hostile, the passive-aggressive nature never becoming physical but hurtful things are said and at moments, it feels genuinely uncomfortable to be watching.
Despite this, the film never quite convinces you that it’s enough to make things fall off the tracks completely. An on-screen countdown to their gig pops up every now and then but there’s a sense that things are being healed off-camera which isn’t shown to try to amp tension. The film seems to think the show is in worse shape than it actually is and rather conveniently, the guys seem to make up just in the nick of time.
That’s not to say that the on-screen drama feels faked, these guys who have been used to cameras following them, and who do seem to subtly love the attention, aren’t acting. They are brothers who have been thrust together and feel nervous about it, it’s just that the story of the film isn't captured as well as the emotion.
This feels like a film very much made for now. In an age where people seem to be famous for increasingly vacuous things, these are men who have been through the wringer, and have come out the other side, still smiling through it all, for their fans. It’s a cathartic exercise in seeing two different people come to terms with each other and even if you have no affinity for Bros whatsoever, by the end of this, it would take a hard heart to not like men behind the band.
Wednesday 17 October 2018 18:15
BFI Southbank, NFT1
Thursday 18 October 2018 15:30
Odeon Tottenham Court Road, Screen 3
Saturday 20 October 2018 13:00
Prince Charles Cinema, Downstairs Screen