Thursday, 8 September 2016


A crass comedy made by a pair of cocky dudebros, Tickled is a remarkable movie - or rather, a movie with a remarkable story - whose character is almost entirely forgiven by its premise and its content. David Farrier and Dylan Reeve are too sure of their sense of humour to sense that their light tabloid touch doesn't penetrate to the heart of that story, but their witty tone is engaging and their journalistic technique is adequately thorough to permit the viewer to penetrate at will. Though unwilling to delve into the sad, strange murk of American morality, Farrier and Reeve never fail to acknowledge its insidious presence as the driving force behind the narrative - a narrative which, as with all who conduct an investigation, they're only ever tracing backward, back to its source. Not a thoughtful film, Tickled is at least a highly thought-provoking one. The directors spend their spare time then (and it actually seems to have been spare time) in fleshing the film out with extended asides, like supporting material built up into a leading part. If Tickled feels at times like a newspaper article adapted into a documentary feature, it's worth considering that it might have worked better as the former. As sensational a story as this is, and as transfixing as it remains even after it has concluded (in the filmmakers' opinions), there's less to it than the film makes of it. Greater psychological inquiry would have made a fine solution, but that's not what our cocky dudebros had in mind, long before being confronted with the true nature of their project. What we get, though, is tabloid trash of the highest order: a tabloid treasure.