Having accepted the Eurostar shilling to make last year’s Somers Town, Shane Meadows returns to his no-budget roots with an improvised comedy shot on the hoof in only five days.
It’s a mock-doc vehicle for Paddy Considine’s Le Donk, the shambolic, bullshitting roadie Meadows and his resident muse previously showcased in a series of tongue-in-cheek shorts.
Almost by accident, however, Le Donk also serves as a calling card for Dean Palinczuk’s Scor-zay-zee, a fledging rapper whose shyness and chunky frame mask a true musical talent.
Meadows’ familiar conceit is to follow Considine’s gormless alter-ego around with a shoulder-mounted camera as he attempts to win his protégé a support slot with the Arctic Monkeys.
Before the make-or-break gig, though, we see Donk visit his pregnant ex (Olivia Colman), spar with her affable new beau (Richard Graham) and nearly sabotage his associate’s opportunity with his lack of tact and obnoxious behaviour.
With Considine holding court for virtually all of the movie’s slender 71 minutes, you get a lot of Donk for your dosh; hell, even the Arctics don’t get much of a look in. But by the time he and Scorz take to the stage at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, this oddball duo have proved winning enough to make us genuinely hope they can pull it off.
It remains to be seen if cinema audiences will be as forgiving or indulgent. But even if Le Donk does feel little more than a playful experiment, it at least shows Meadows to be as creative and ingenious as ever as he and Paddy wait to get long-gestating boxing biopic King Of The Gypsies into production.
It may just be an extended short, but Meadows’ latest still crams in enough laughs to fill a comedy twice its size. Considine, meanwhile, brings his character to such exhilarating life you can’t tell where he ends and Donk begins.