The Riot Club

THE RIOT CLUB directed by Lone.

THE RIOT CLUB directed by Lone Scherfig, written by Laura Wade from her play, with Sam Claflin, Max Irons and Douglas Booth. A Soda Pictures release. 107 minutes. Rating: NNN

If you think the English class system is a thing of the past, this savage indictment the country’s privileged will set you straight.

Adapted by Laura Wade from her play Posh, the film looks at Oxford freshmen Miles (Max Irons) and Alistair (Sam Claflin), who are asked to join a centuries-old secret society that indulges not only in debauchery, but also harbours disturbing ideas about entitlement and the poor.

Director Lone Scherfig (An Education, One Day) brings a liveliness to the early scenes and seductively draws us into this world along with the two students. Irons and Claflin are terrific as the contrasting protagonists, with solid work by Holliday Grainger as Miles’s girlfriend from a more modest background and Douglas Booth as another club member.

Some attempts at opening up the play don’t work, however, particularly the needlessly repeated scenes of regular folks’ reactions to the upper-class pricks during an extended, brutally powerful dinner sequence.

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