Dave ‘Davie’ Mclean (Conor Berry) had ambitions of becoming one of the greatest Scottish football players of all time. His home town of Dundee had two footballs clubs after all, so at least he’d have someone to play against. However, an injury put that idea to rest and whilst his broken leg was healing, he started to think about what to do next.
His best friends, Scot (Sean Connor) and John (Grant Robert Keelan) were typical of men their age and while women, whisky and song were all they could think about, it was the music that led them to greater ambitions. After such a devastating change it seemed like Davie had nowhere to go, but now it looks like things were picking up, especially after he met the beautiful Shona (Tara Lee).
Schemers is a biopic of music promotor, Dave Mclean which he wrote and directed himself. Taking the memories from his early days where he could barely get the foot in the door, Schemers recalls that story as if it were yesterday. However, those who may be unaware of its origins in fact may be wondering what made Dave Mclean so special.
Starting off in a fashion that is quintessentially Scottish, Mclean’s story evokes Gregory’s Girl and Trainspotting, without the dark humour of the latter of course. Instead, Mclean frames his story as a feelgood tale of rags to riches, although Mclean may be more interested in his story than anybody else.
Unbeknownst to most audiences, Mclean was part of the movement that brought grunge to the UK with bands like Nirvana, Green Day and The Smashing Pumpkins all becoming as popular here as they were in the States. Mclean even went into band management, picking up a little band called Placebo and bringing them to international fame. However, Mclean doesn’t seem to be interested in that and instead thinks an audience would be more interested in how he got started.
Having the luxury of writing himself into the film, Davie is a charming and funny character and when the script allows it, Berry gives a performance which happily compliments its subject. However, when the romantic comedy aspect of the film seems to fizzle out, so does the charm.
It seems that despite being a biopic and being able to do what he likes, Mclean has missed the point and whereas he could have fleshed out the minor characters, he seems more interested in what he had done himself.
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