Schemers follows Davie (Conor Berry) in the early 1970s, who is young and full of ambition to do great things. Davie was hoping for a career in the world of football, but after a one-night stand with the wrong woman, he finds himself with one of his legs in a cast. While in hospital, he meets a nurse who he falls in love with instantly. To impress her, Davie begins to launch and promote several musical gigs in Dundee, Scotland. After having a taste of success, he decides to keep going, making each one bigger and better.
Thankfully, Davie will not be tackling all these musical gigs on his own. Joining him are his two closest friends. But each gig Davie and his fellow mates put on comes with higher costs and higher risks. Eventually, Davie and his mates make agreements and arrangements with dangerous gangsters to put on the next big show. Schemers reveals the true story of Davie and his friends’ many challenges when it came to getting gigs, seeking huge bands to perform, selling tickets, and attempting to pay back gangsters.
For those who are not aware, the film is based on the life of the film’s director Dave McLean. Schemers (2019) is also Dave Mclean’s feature film debut, and he is credited as both the film’s director and writer. Schemers are filled with mixed genres. It is a true story, but it is also loaded with moments of comedy, crime, and even small touches of drama. The location of Dundee was well represented in this film which adds a nice touch of realism.
While the film has fun telling this true story, some moments make it feel somewhat disjointed, and I questioned the editing. One example of this is the consistent narration from the lead, which constantly interrupted moments on screen. It felt like a way to tell the viewers important information because perhaps the film’s budget did not allow it any other way. Scenes set at gigs or night clubs always feel small, and the lack of extras, I assume, is due to the budget. The third act is easily the most exciting part of the journey, but it also reveals far more in certain areas than needed. The film could have stopped earlier and by doing so concluded with an exciting and fun bang.
Overall, Schemers shares a fascinating story of how one man and his mates pulled off a significant scheme in Dundee, Scotland, involving the famous rock band Iron Maiden. The story has uplifting, encouraging, and fun moments, but they’re a few incidents that make it feel slightly disjointed, such as the forced narration from the lead.
Schemers (2019) is Now Available on Digital!