We Are Your Friends
We Are Your Friends, despite its title, is less about friendship than it is about personal ambition and honesty , and couches this ethos in a blur of strobe lights, booze and house music. Zac Efron is Cole, a wannabe DJ, to whom real success seems a myth until he meets Tom (Wes Bentley) who gives him an opportunity to make something of himself.
Zac Efron has been going from strength to strength as an actor; here he gives an extremely heartfelt performance as a young man who clearly loves his friends, despite their asinine antics. Also enjoyable is Wes Bentley’s cynical turn as the alcoholic DJ who develops an attachment to Cole, their friendship as strange as it is watchable. The same cannot be said of Emily Ratajkowski, whose acting appears to be desperately chasing the quirky-but-lost girl who seems to be in every indie film by divine mandate these days, and just comes across as a composite rather than a single defined character.
Director Max Joseph clearly has visual flair (an early scene in an art gallery is particularly notable ) and can handle actors, but he lacks some control. The film loses its conviction and its focus all too quickly, simply blanketing the viewer with neon-washed house music montages whenever it runs out of things to say. The first half unfortunately feels like faintly rushed filler, to the point where the serious “moral” choices being presented to Cole – about chasing success but leaving his friends behind – seem like an absolute no-brainer. The second half is far more focused and honest than what has come before, and the film does retain a hypnotic power throughout, despite its less than stellar start.
is full of surprises. Just as it begins to feel like a write-off film, it slams into motion and becomes a story of great poignancy, with some terrific acting and very profound drama. The result of its late upsurge in quality results in an end product that is a little half-baked, but is still highly enjoyable in spite of its rather trite, hyperactive opening half.
We Are Your Friends is released nationwide on 27th August 2015.
Watch the trailer for We Are Your Friends here: