SXSW 2022 review: ‘PIRATES’ is a feelgood throwback filled with relatable shenanigans.


New Year’s Eve 1999. Cappo (ELLIOT EDUSAH), Two Tonne (JORDAN PETERS), and Kid (REDA ELAZOUAR) drive through London in their tiny Peugeot 205, pumping a live garage set from the stereo and arguing about their Avirex jackets and Naf Naf imports. As the eighteen-year-olds step into adulthood, they know their lives and friendships are on the brink of change. Determined to end the century on a bang they drive from place to place in a desperate search for tickets for the best millennium party EVER. In their efforts to end up somewhere, they end up closer together.

Let me begin my review of SXSW22 narrative spotlight feature PIRATES by stating that I was the same age as Kid, Cappo, and Two Tonne on the eve of Y2K. I can vividly remember that night and the pure excitement and energy exerted on that day was something I wish I could bottle now. What PIRATES gets right is just that. The feeling of invincibility and the idea that anything is possible. That and the sheer audacity of youth. 

Kid, played by Reda Elazouar, is pure unadulterated comic relief. He believes what he’s saying, lending the audience to smirk at every turn. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. 

Elliot Edusah is Cappo, the kid that wants more out of life than repeating high school shenanigans. He’s the down-to-earth friend with loyalty as his best quality. Edusah is an easy watch. His boy-next-door good looks and sincere attitude compel you to root for him.

Jordan Peters plays Two Tonne with underlying low self-esteem that he covers with over-the-top bravado. This intriguing dichotomy gives Peters the chance to play the entire emotional gambit as well as the comedy aspect. 

Ancillary cast members nail every beat. You remember scenes that only run for a few minutes because of the pure shenanigans the boys attempt to pull. The chemistry among the entire cast makes PIRATES a breezy and nostalgic watch. For an American audience, the film would benefit from closed captions. Heavy with slang and fast-paced quips, I know I missed a good deal of the definitively funny dialogue. A Google joke right off the bat? It got me. Kid carries around a Tamagochi, and it’s a solid running joke. From the costumes to the sets, audiences from that generation (myself included) will connect with PIRATES right away.

Section: Narrative Spotlight
Sales: Gunpowder & Sky
Run Time: 80 min
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Writer/Director: Reggie Yates
Cast: Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters, Reda Elazouar, Kassius Nelson, Youssef Kerkour, Rebekkah Murrell, Shiloh Coke, Tosin Cole, Aaron Shosanya
Executive Producers: Rose Garnett, Farhana Bhula, Jim Reeve
Producers: Kate Norrish, Polly Leys
Cinematographer: Rachel Clark
Editor: Ash White

For more information on SXSW 2022 click here!

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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