You Instead

Directed by: David Mackenzie
Distributed by: Roadside Attractions

Written by Jeff Sparks


Filmed in only five days at the T In The Park music festival, “Tonight You’re Mine” is a unique look at how connections can be forged through the art of music. Better known by its less generic title, “You Instead” follows two bands who are forced to spend their time at the festival together when the singers of both bands are handcuffed together not long before they are set to perform. As they roam the grounds looking for a way to separate themselves from the cuffs they quickly bond and bask in the bands and booze. Natalia Tena stars as Morello, the leader of The Dirty Pinks, an all-female band while Luke Treadway plays Adam, the singer of a duo made up of him and his friend Tyco (Matthew Baynton). Also starring is Kari Corbett as Morello’s lead guitarist and Gavin Mitchell who plays the manager of Adam’s band. While Tenia and Treadway were already experienced musicians, some of the other cast members were not and had to learn to play instruments only eight days before shooting. Their hard work pays off during a couple of scenes where the bands play exhilarating performances. Some music films choose to shy away from live performances by either cutting them short or by syncing recorded music instead of using live audio. As a live music fan, I always appreciate it when a film not only has the real audio but also lets the song play out in its entirety as it does here. 

Along with the character’s live performances, there are also clips of real artists who played at the festival intercut throughout the film. This particular choice is the film’s first component in building up the atmosphere of the music festival. Shots of people singing along, dancing, drinking, and mingling about are also seen whether they’re spliced meticulously throughout the film or just seen in the background. Due to the festival only lasting a handful of days the film had to be made guerilla style which means all the people you see outside of the main cast are real concertgoers. I’m sure many shots were ruined because of this but the atmosphere it creates pays off. 

The main theme of connections is not something new but the way it’s paired with music is sincere. Adam and Morello are at odds with each other until they perform an impromptu performance of “Tainted Love”. In this scene, the two are mentally pushed together similar to the way they are physically bound by the handcuffs. Sometimes all it takes is an experience of working together with someone on something you both have a passion for to see that person in a different way. Since the film is only eighty minutes long the love story isn’t the most in-depth but the atmosphere of huge music festivals shown in “Tonight You’re Mine” make it an experience that’s not available in any other film.

“You Instead” Trailer

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