1234 is a tale of young love disguised as a film about a young indie band dreaming of making it big – but it might possibly be the other way around. Bespectacled guitarist Stevie (Ian Bonar) together with his mate Neil (Matthew Baynton) attempt to break out of the hum drum existence of working in a call centre by forming a band. First they recruit the slightly older and more experienced Billy (Kieran Bew) and slightly scatty bassist Emily (Lyndsey Marshal) – who moonlights as an artist, making sculptures out of hair and creating maps based on a day following strangers around.
The band rehearse in what appears to be a church hall, play gigs in pubs, lay down a demo and send it off to every record company they can think of – then build up a collection of rejection letters from said record companies.
Stevie falls in love with Emily, who in return likes him back – but she has a boyfriend, so the course of true love is not a straight one.
The film is not a Guy Ritchie movie, not a Huw Grant Movie and not even a Billy Elliot move; it is a tale of people having a laugh and making the most of things while living a mundane life but living in hope. There is no happy ending, but at the end we do get a tantalising glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel, in more ways than one; you are left with a feeling that maybe things do work out but there is enough of a question mark at the end to generate a warm grin as the credits go up.
This is a directorial debut by Giles Borg, who cut his teeth making music videos. The film was actually made back in 2008, with a little bit of help from the wallet of Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, but is only now getting big screen space due to the New British Cinema Quarterly project.