In Search of La Che (2011) – By Duane L. Martin

John Tavish (Duncan Arlie James) thoroughly enjoyed the music of Roxy La Che (Paul Massie) in the 80’s and 90’s, but after this musical phenom released two albums and went through years of substance abuse, he ultimately disappeared from public view. Now John Tavish is putting together a documentary about Roxy La Che and his quest to find out what happened to this "legendary" artist.

In search of La Che is a mockumentary filmed in Scotland, and as such, the accents may be a bit thick for some viewers who aren’t used to it. I was ok with it because I’m used to watching films and television from various parts of the world, so I don’t really have any trouble with accents, but for someone who’s not used to hearing thick Scottish accents, it could be problematic. Optional English subtitles would be a welcome addition to the film and would alleviate this issue completely, however at the present time, the screener copy I received doesn’t have subtitles.

The film itself follows the travels of John Tavish as he and his hired film crew follow the tracks of the legendary La Che. Some of the people they talk to are a pub owner who has an audio cassette of La Che’s first album that he did with Blitzkrieg Records, a company run by an angry, Nazi loving man who had La Che record a lot of hate filled songs. When La Che broke with them, he went on to another record label that recorded and released his only two legitimate albums before he disappeared. They talk to the owner of that label, as well as a crazy guy who runs a fan website for La Che. Unfortunately, he’s less than sane and extremely difficult to understand. Eventually, they track La Che down to a hospital where he was registered under an assumed identity. Is this the end of their search? Will they find La Che at last? You’ll have to see the film to find out.

As mockumentaries go, this one is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the characters, and a lot of the story works quite well, but there are a couple of characters and bits of the story that either fall flat or just don’t work at all. For example, the crazy guy who ran the fan website. He wasn’t even like a real person. He was more of a cartoon character that spoke in a way that, even for someone with a practiced ear like mine, was very hard to follow. Another character that didn’t work all that well for the story, but oddly enough actually worked as a character in general, was the Nazi loving guy who released La Che’s first album. He was well acted and as angry and violent as you’d expect, and as a character he was pretty interesting, but in the context of the story, it just didn’t work very well or make much sense.

Some of the things that worked well in this film were the parts where there was back story. That was well put together and coherent. The pub owner was also a likeable guy and when you hear him talk about La Che, he’s very believable as a character and it really sounds like he’s talking about a real person. John Tavish came off as someone who was very sincere as well. You can watch him and really believe that he sincerely wants to find this guy.

On a technical level, the film was put together well. It jumps around like many mockumentaries do and can feel a bit choppy at times as it jumps from one place to the next, but all in all it’s well made and doesn’t have any notable technical flaws other than the lack of subtitles.

In Search of La Che at times feels a bit confused about how serious or cartoonish it wants to be, but in the end it comes across as heartfelt and is entertaining enough that I can recommend checking it out. While lacking a bit of consistency in some of the characters, as a whole, it is an enjoyable experience.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.insearchoflache.com.