Flashbacks of a Fool may be the feature film debut of Baillie Walsh but he has vast experience behind the camera. He is responsible for dozens of music videos and documentaries for artists such as Kylie Minogue, Oasis, INXS and Massive Attack, for whom he directed 'Unfinished Symphony'.
Many actors would have steered clear of a opening sequence that has them cavorting naked with two beauties, looking the worse for wear as they snort cocaine off a mirror. Daniel Craig's profile has soared since his appearance as James Bond in 'Casino Royale' but taking on such a role in a small-scale project may be seen as a gamble for an actor at the height of his fame.
The initial script was written six years ago for Craig by his friend Walsh but was put on hold for financial reasons. Craig's recent profile increase and success as Bond enabled the duo to get the film made, with Craig coming on board as a producer.
Craig stars as Joe Scott, a forty-something actor whose career is on the slide after years of alcohol and drug abuse. Just as he has fallen off the A-List, with his debauched lifestyle having finally taken its toll, he receives a call from home saying that his best friend from his childhood has died.
Having tested the loyalty and patience of all around him, especially his put-upon cleaner (Eve), his agent (Strong) finally gives up on him and so an inebriated Joe, in the throes of a mental breakdown, heads to the beach intent on ending it all.
Flashback to a gloriously warm summer by the sea in 1970s Britain and teenage Joe (Eden) and his mate Boots (Deacon) are in the middle of a coming-of-age summer, set to the accompaniment of Bryan Ferry and David Bowie.
Both fall for the local beauty Ruth (Jones) but Joe is distracted by the advances of his mother's friend and neighbour Evelyn (May). Their brief fling has life-changing effects for all and Joe decides to flee rather than face the consequences.
The one major flaw with this movie is that there does not seem to be any connection between young Joe and old troubled Joe, as Walsh struggles to bring the two separate stories together. While it is difficult to feel these are the same person that is not any failing of the cast and these are two good stories in their own right.
With Walsh's musical background you would expect some good tunes and that is the case as Roxy Music, Bowie and Scott Walker provide a cracking soundtrack. Despite an untidy conclusion, 'Flashbacks of a Fool' is still worth a look.
Check out our 'Flashbacks of a Fool' London premiere photo gallery here.