Review: Tortilla

Premise:

After a make-or-break headline show on the island of Ibiza, globe-trotting, narcissistic DJ Chris Fader (Jack Bannon) and his pushover manager Scotty Shaw (Jack Cooper Stimpson) regain consciousness on a deserted beach. When memory fails them, they embark on a journey across the island, piecing together the events of what was clearly a very busy night before.

Review:

As a huge fan of show, don’t tell, seeing so much backstory delivered in the form of two passed out party boys is quite possibly the best way to start this erased memory/mystery/adventure. In one shot we know we are watching a comedy, set in Ibiza, about two guys who are about to have the consequences of a night of craziness visited back on them.

The film manages to straddle the line between taking its time and moving the narrative along, on the one hand quickly establishing the conflicting character dynamic between the self-obsessed and inflexible DJ Chris and his way too flexible manager Scotty and on the other taking the bold step of not having any spoken dialogue until two and a half minutes into the twenty minute film.

Despite intentionally taking the time to kick off the plot, once it gets going it goes fast and does not stop. Starting with the sudden appearance of Juan, an almost ghostly figure who can only seem to repeat his own name, seemingly senseless gestures start to become clues as to just how Chris and Scotty came to be unconscious by the side of the road with no memory. Between car breakdowns, food fights, BB guns and strangers forcing them to eat Spanish omelettes for apparently no reason, Chris and Scotty slowly begin to make sense of their very surreal predicament.

The runtime allows writer/director Eros Vlahos to pack a fully formed story into the film, finding time to start and complete character arcs for both Chris and Scotty. The film is also littered with weird and wonderful characters, each one sprinkling their own unique flavour into the film’s flamboyant recipe.

The bickering duo are the comical heart and dramatic soul of the movie, brilliantly fusing their characters’ issues with the film’s plot via excellent comedic chemistry. Scotty’s refusal to stand up for himself and Chris’ refusal to eat carbs gets good gag mileage and sets up great payoffs later down the line. The by turns hysterically angry and passionately vulnerable back and forth between Jack Cooper Stimpson’s Scotty and Jack Bannon’s Chris not only anchors the film but provides a great counterpoint to the insane plot revelations.

Leaning into the outlandish nature of the film’s premise, Vlahos makes a very conscious decision to have as much fun as possible and as a result, so do we. From the psychedelic opening credits to the frenetic cutting in moments of absolute craziness followed up by long pauses, allowing the all of the crazy to fully sink in, we are served a very enjoyable brand of lunacy.

With this film, Vlahos seems to develop a tone and style that he would carry into the likes of Right Place, Wrong Tim and Double Tap. Taking a concept, premise or genre and infusing it with the colour, pace and high-energy that is fast becoming his signature, we are treated to a very English adventure in a Mediterranean locale that is guaranteed to leave you as buzzed as if you were there yourself.


Studio: 1up Productions | Year: 2017 | Genre: Comedy/Adventure | Duration: 20 Mins | Suitability: Mature


Cast:

Jack Cooper Stimpson, Jack Bannon, Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Laura Ferries


Crew:

Director: Eros Vlahos | Producer: Jack Cooper Stimpson, Eros Vlahos

| Writers: Eros Vlahos


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