Tamla Rose (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner11/12/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 111 mins

Poorly directed, badly written and atrociously acted British drama that loosely lumps together a collection of clichés and pads them out with badly synced, cheaply staged musical performances.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Joe Scott and set in Liverpool, Tamla Rose stars Adi Alfa as Tamla Rose Miller, a young woman who drops out of school in order to form an all-girl Motown-style trio (called The Tamla Roses) with her two friends Lily (Alexandra Johnston) and Candi (Tisha Merry). The band are an instant hit, but Candi decides she wants the spotlight for herself and the group split up, causing Tamla to hit the bottle.

The Bad
The performances are painful to watch, as only a handful of the actors seem capable of delivering their lines in a convincing way; consequently, every single scene feels staged and contrived. On the plus side, the singing scenes are decent enough, but they're undermined by the fact that the film's budget clearly didn't stretch to an actual audience, so it constantly feels like they are singing in an empty room (which they obviously are), even when they're meant to be playing to a packed house.

The film's biggest problem is the script, which lurches clumsily from cliché to cliché as if afraid to stick to a simple plot: at one point, the film makes an inexplicable jump to five years later, without anything significant happening in the meantime (it feels more like five months) and gives Tamla an unconvincing giant-bottle-of-vodka-a-day bout of alcoholism before, bizarrely, getting her involved in an equally poorly thought out campaign for backing singers' rights, all within about five minutes.

The Worse
On top of that even the clichéd and predictable plot contrivances make no sense within the film; for example, the girls lose it with Candi when she declares she wants to be the lead singer, despite the fact that the previous scene featured Lily as the lead singer rather than Tamla. The film's also guilty of repetitive and badly conceived chunks of exposition, with several scenes unfolding in the exact same way: their manager (Jake Abraham) tells them some good/ bad news (“Your first record is a hit”/“Candi wants to leave the band”) and they react, usually by squealing or protesting.

Worth seeing?
Despite a promising concept, Tamla Rose is unfortunately something of a disappointment, thanks to a clunky, cliché-laden script, unfocussed direction and poor performances.

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Content updated: 22/07/2018 13:44

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