Brexit: The Uncivil War – The DVDfever Review – Benedict Cumberbatch

Brexit: The Uncivil War
Brexit: The Uncivil War centres around one man I hadn’t thought too much about – Dominic Cummings (Benedict Cumberbatch – yep, there’s a double-dose of Cum this time!), campaign director for Vote Leave, one of the campaigns to leave the European Union.

The vote took place in June 2016, and things are still being dragged out to this day, but while Remoaners blabber on about how “Leave lied!!!”, do try and remember… so did Remain! You kinda forgot that, didn’t you! Remain just spent their entire campaign being negative about Leave, trying to instill fear in anyone voting that way (hence being referred to as ‘Project Fear’) and giving zero reasons for actually remaining! They just babbled on about how it was better to Remain… but not saying why. They didn’t have any arguments to stay, and so just made it sound like the sky would fall in if Leave won. They didn’t want the electorate to feel like the public could change anything, meaning Remain would continue to have control of the electorate!

In addition, one week before referendum, the Remain side also took the tragic murder of MP Jo Cox and turned that into a way to boost their campaign, also bringing in her widower Brendan Cox, an adviser on international development to Gordon Brown, and a man who admitted to groping women while working for charities such as Save the Children, so the man was hardly a paragon of virtue.

The truth is that the UK will not end after Brexit. Also, “man-made global warming” is a falsehood, and there is no God. Yeah, I be dropping some truth bombs on you today!

Even today, on the day of this drama’s broadcast, we were led to believe that Brexit will lead to a never-ending queue of lorries, by positioning almost 90 lorries end-to-end… yet they failed to book Eddie Kidd to jump them!!!

Brexit: The Uncivil War begins in 2020, looking back on the four years since the EU referendum took place.

In this drama which is based on interviews and real events, with some elements being dramatised, we see Cummings meeting with UKIP’s sole MP, Douglas Carswell (Simon Paisley Day) – the person with the wonkiest mouth on TV since Christina Alessi on Neighbours, as well as talking to political lobbyist Matthew Elliot (John Heffernan), and later meeting with CEO of AggregateIQ Zack Massingham (Kyle SollerYou, Me and the Apocalypse) to realise how they could target individuals with adverts on Facebook based on the individual information they voluntarily submit several times a day. Of course, that only works if you’re such a sap that you believe everything you’re told.

I like that it introduced each of the main people involved with a caption. Some looked exactly like the person they portrayed, while others were only partly similar, and a few I’d never seen before. Richard Goulding is brilliant as Boris Johnson, and Tim Steed was great as Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, while Oliver Maltman is almost there as Michael Gove (albeit slightly fatter in the face), while both Lee Boardman and Paul Ryan, respectively, make a good fist of Aaron Banks and Nigel Farage.

In addition, some real TV clips were played, from BBC News and Andrew Marr’s show, showing some actual politicians, so we didn’t get anyone pretending to be David Cameron in person, for example. Probably a good thing since we knew too much about him so he didn’t need to be represented onscreen, although he did pop up in an audio discussion with Craig Oliver, alongside Mark Gatiss giving a sneery-voiced Peter Mandelson.

As Cummings got on the nerves of the MPs of the Vote Leave board, I like how Matthew Elliot tried to play the middle man, and when we see the infamous £350m red NHS bus, they comment on how it features the actual NHS logo, which the real bus, itself, did, but the one in the drama doesn’t have the NHS lettering in italics, and it’s also in a slightly different font.

Although Vote Leave were found guilty of breaking Electoral Law – which has caused many remainers to bang on about wanting a second referendum, the Electoral Commission investigation found “significant failures” by the Tories in reporting their campaign spending, to the tune of over £275,000 across three by-elections in 2014, as well as the 2015 general election. Shall we have a re-run of that one, then? Might be a bit late, now.

Overall, Brexit: The Uncivil War is an enjoyable drama, and one which felt like it had an many avenues to cover as Brexit, itself, does.

It also showed that if there’s one actor you need for a compelling drama to focus upon in the lead, ol’ BenCum will do it every time. Rory Kinnear – as Craig Oliver, who worked for David Cameron, and of whom Cummings have previously got on the wrong side – is also a safe bet, and when it comes to dramatised moments, I’m guessing that was the case when the pair met by chance, near the end, and went for a drink.

As for how Brexit plays out in reality, we will have to wait and see the final result, but the wind of politics is changing. Some people might not like Trump, but while he’s unconvential, the electorate have had enough of politicians who have a clean-cut image and use words like “Let me be clear” before they go on to obfuscate. As for Obama, while Trump was berated for using tear gas on migrants at the border and separating children from their parents, Obama did this throughout his entire two terms, whilst also using tear gas on them once a month. But then, he just had a better PR team to hide all his dodgy shit. He just smiled the biggest smiles and made a lot of the Americans want him back for a third term.

Over here, we have those “Let me be clear” politicians waffling away, giving the answers THEY want to give to questions, which is one reason why Jeremy Corbyn has become so popular – he DOES answer the questions, and he doesn’t play the same mind games as his contemporaries. Just look at anyone who attempts to challenge him. They quickly fall by the wayside, and they should know that in the current climate, Labour will not win if they don’t unite behind him.

And was there a last-minute change to a line of dialogue? As Cummings hears Farage on TV saying the campaign was won without a single bullet being fired, Cummings responds that one WAS fired (referring to Jo Cox’s murder) and adds “You moronic little cretin”, yet the subtitles say, “You moronic little cunt”.

Brexit: The Uncivil War is available to pre-order on DVD, and can be seen on All4.

Brexit: The Uncivil War – Trailer – Channel 4

Score: 7.5/10

Director: Toby Haynes
Producer: Lynn Horsford
Writer: James Graham
Music: Daniel Pemberton

Dominic Cummings: Benedict Cumberbatch
Craig Oliver: Rory Kinnear
Mary Wakefield: Liz White
Zack Massingham: Kyle Soller
Matthew Elliot: John Heffernan
Aaron Banks: Lee Boardman
Boris Johnson: Richard Goulding
Douglas Carswell: Simon Paisley Day
David Cameron: Mark Dexter (voice)
Peter Mandelson: Mark Gatiss (voice)
Nigel Farage: Paul Ryan
Michael Gove: Oliver Maltman
John Mills: Nicholas Day
Boris Johnson Staff Member: Ian Morine
Elizabeth Denham: Lucy Russell
Daniel Hannan: Tim Steed
Victoria Woodcock: Kate O’Flynn
John Mills: Nicholas Day
Bernard Jenkin: Tim McMullan
Bill Cash: Richard Durden
Lucy Thomas: Henrietta Clemett
Andrew Cooper: Gavin Spokes
Robert Mercer: Aden Gillett
Gisela Stuart: Kate Spiro
Focus Group Facilitator: Annabelle Dowler
Steve: Jay Simpson
Katie: Mary Antony
Sandra: Heather Coombs
Robin: Gabriel Akuwudike
Roger: John Arthur
Shamara: Kiran Sonia Sawar
Camilla: Raki Ayola


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