Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None stated
HOLLYWOOD rebel, Colin Farrell, may have starred alongside the
likes of Al Pacino, Tom Cruise and Samuel L Jackson in the past
year, but its refreshing to see that he hasnt forgotten
his roots, and is quite happy to journey back to the Emerald Isle
to help out its struggling film industry.
Intermission marks something of a change of pace for the young
actor, given its small budget and gritty background, but its
a cracking little urban thriller to boot, fuelled by a strong
ensemble cast and a sardonic, if foul-mouthed script.
The film comprises a series of stories about people whose lives
are knowingly and unknowingly entwined, and is a darkly comic
look at how the simplest decision can spark off a massive chain
In this case, Cillian Murphys hapless supermarket worker,
John, provides the catalyst, by suggesting that he should take
a break from his long-term girlfriend, Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald),
to test her love for him.
The plan, of course, backfires, as Deirdre quickly moves in with
an older man, Sam (Michael McElhatton), a bank manager, who leaves
his wife of 14 years, Noeleen (Deirdre OKane) to be with
Noeleen, meanwhile, sets about getting some self-esteem back
and hits the singles trail, where she eventually meets Oscar (David
Wilmot), the best friend of John, and embarks upon a sexual relationship
of her own.
In the meantime, events conspire to court the interest of Farrells
small-time criminal, Lehiff, who seizes the opportunity to mount
a daring bank robbery, if he can avoid the attention of Colm Meaneys
veteran detective, Detective Jerry Lynch, with whom he has been
waging a personal war.
And thrown into the mix is a frustrated documentary film-maker
(Tom OSullivan) seeking to be taken seriously, an unemployed
bus driver (Bryan F OByrne), out for revenge against the
child thug who cost him his job, and a widowed mum (Ger Ryan)
and spurned daughter (Shirley Henderson), who are attempting to
get their own lives back on track.
With so much going on, it is a tribute to John Crowleys
skill as a director that he never loses sight of any of the plot
arcs, while all of the characters remain memorable in some way.
Farrell, of course, scene-steals whenever he is around, but isnt
allowed to hog the limelight, while the emerging likes of Murphy
and Wilmot provide a suitably endearing emotional core, which
should have audiences rooting for them, no matter how ludicrous
their predicaments become.
Special mention, however, goes to Meaney, for his hard-as-nails
detective, who has a penchant for Clannad, even when chasing down
criminals, and to Hendersons bittersweet turn as a spurned
wife, who has let herself go, despite wanting to be loved like
Crowley should also be applauded for mixing the humour and sadness
so well, without ever resorting to obvious cliches, or awkward
manipulation, and his decision to keep things darker than average
lends proceedings a genuinely realistic feel.
The film has been likened, in some quarters, to an Irish equivalent
of Trainspotting, and its fast, no-holds barred style is certainly
reminiscent of that movie. Yet it contains a raw, authentic style
of its own and should have you hooked from beginning to end. It
looks destined to become a cult classic.