The class war degenerates into foul-mouthed tirades and stomach-churning violence in Laura Wade’s robust adaptation of her own stage play.
Posh originated at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2010 and was revived two years later in the West End, painting a vivid portrait of a fictional dining clique akin to the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, which once included David Cameron, George Osborne and Boris Johnson in its notorious ranks.
Lone Scherfig’s film, retitled The Riot Club, packs a similar emotional wallop to its stage-bound predecessor, detonating pent-up testosterone and tempers with horrifying repercussions.
The Riot Club is a sobering attack on a culture of inherited privilege and power in Britain.
Scherfig’s film dissects how our egalitarian society is founded on secret handshakes in wood-panelled rooms far from the madding electorate, and you can almost see the venom streaking down the camera lens when one inebriated club member sneers, “I am sick to death of poor people!”
The Danish filmmaker, who previously helmed the Oscar nominated coming of age story An Education, doesn’t spare the morally repugnant characters any blushes.