Starter for 10

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First off the soundtrack was very evocative and captured the highly charged and equally fun times in college in the 80s. Three of the band featured played at Trinity either right before, or while I was there; The Smiths, The Cure and the Psychedelic Furs. It was also great to hear a bit of Paul Weller too.

The basic idea of the film was pretty simple; smart boy from less privileged background goes to University. Just as the Undertones sang “He loves University Challenge” and the fun ensues. It doesn’t sound like much, yet the film is really well written and a lot of the characters reminded me of people I met/avoided when I was in college.

One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much…I laughed out loud quite a bit…was that the acting was so good. You probably couldn’t afford to assemble a cast like this in 2013:

Catherine Tate as the mum? Priceless!

James Corden as the ‘I love heavy metal’ pal.

Benedict Cumberbatch as the over-zealous, pompous quiz fanatic.

There was even a chap from Holby City in it…not that I watch soap-operas!

The lead actor James McEvoy was also excellent in the Last King of Scotland, and apparently was in an X-Men film.

Rebecca Hall has done lots of big films since, while the other main actress is the daughter of Trevor Eve (Shoestring! And Waking the Dead!)

It had that great witty banter that Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead had. And I can’t think of a film that made me laugh as much since those two. Well worth a watch as the cold autumn nights draw in.

And yes there really was a guy EXACTLY like the ‘man just back from India’ in Trinity while I was there.

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What Richard Did

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This was not the film I was expecting.

I recall hearing vague pieces of information about it that make me curious.

I knew that it might have something to do with a book called Bad Day At Blackrock, which I have not read. A book I suspect had something to do with a real life incident that happened while I was not living in Ireland.

So it was all a bit vague and cryptic.

It is directed by Len Abrahamson and I have not seen any of his other films (Garage, Adam and Paul) although I am very excited about his up-and-coming film Frank. Anyone who remembers the fantastic oddity who died recently, Frank Sidebottom may be just as excited. I saw Frank Sidebottom live a few years ago and he was eccentrically funny and I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. He came over to Dublin with the mighty Hope Collective back in the day. How many Hope acts have had a film made about them?

I have a pretty low tolerance for films that I don’t find interesting. And for the first ten or fifteen minutes I was on the edge of my seat. The edge of getting from that seat and finding something else to do with my time. Yet I felt something was building and it was enough to sustain my interest.

And I am very glad I did. I don’t want to give much away about this film. I found it exceptional and I don’t think I have ever seen a better Irish film. It made me think, it made me reflect, it made me wonder. The acting was superb. In particular the main character and his dad were exceptional.

Another aspect about What Richard Did that drew me in deeply was the music. It was a perfect reflection of the film. It drew me in without making me feel manipulated. It evoked and sustained the mood. It’s funny how seldom we hear about Irish film soundtracks. Can anyone think of great Irish film soundtracks? 

The music was composed by Stephen Rennicks, he appears to have done the music for all of the Len Abrahamson films…so it is time for me to watch those films and listen to more of his music.

 

http://whatricharddid.ie/

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