Cristian Ortega, Lorn Macdonald, Laura Fraser
A universal story of friendship, rebellion and the irresistible power of gathered youth set to an eclectic and electrifying 1990s rave soundtrack, Beats is a bittersweet coming-of-age story from Scottish director Brian Welsh (In Our Name), executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and selected to screen at Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Set in 1994 Scotland, it’s adapted from Kieran Hurley’s stage play and hinges on the Tory government’s crackdown on rave culture that year. Our heroes are two gawky West Lothian teenagers, techno-head Jonno (Cristian Ortega) and Spanner (Lorn Macdonald). Best friends at school, their paths look set to diverge and when word travels of an upcoming underground protest rave, it seems like an ideal chance for one last hurrah.
Shot in luminous black-and-white and counterpointing the drabness of their surroundings with the vivid delights of club culture, Beats is a rollicking buddy movie with a Trainspotting-esque spirit – both exuberant and nihilistic – that will give Generation X-ers a vivid trip down memory lane.