Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
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Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
The character Ned Broy, played by Stephen Rea in the film, is in fact a composite of the historical figures Ned Broy, who was a double agent in the police, and Dick McKee, who was Commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA and hence a central figure in planning intelligence operations with Collins. Broy survived the war, but McKee was captured the night before the attack on British agents and shot, reputedly whilst attempting to escape. Broy, only a Sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police would be rewarded by being made head of the Irish Free State's new police national force, the Garda. Ironically he would go to great lengths to encourage ex-Royal Irish Constubulary officers to join the new force, giving them preference in recruitment and absorb the Dublin Metropolitan Police as a whole into the new organisation. See more »
The car that de Valera gets into after arriving by boat has the registration 15 D 1, which indicates that although it is a 1915 car, it was imported and registered in Dublin as a historic vehicle sometime after 1987. An original Dublin registration of the time would be in the format IK 1234. See more »
[dictating a letter]
You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »
This movie is an excellent portrayal of the brutal and often non-conventional Irish freedom struggle. The movie has several great strengths. The biggest strength is Liam Neeson in his tour-de-force. His acting in this movie is as good as it gets. His personality changes subtly throughout the movie, becoming increasingly affected by the changes of the world around him. The supporting cast is also excellent, with Rickman in one of his best roles.
Cinematography is very nice, capturing everything from the hopelessness of the defeats in the ashy cities to the beauty of the Irish landscapes. The pacing is very good as well.
If you saw this movie with no opinion on the Irish history, you will have one when you leave the theater. This shows to me how powerful this movie is. After all, Michael Collin's tactics were not pretty, everything from car-bombings to mob-style executions. Yet we still care for him, we want him to succeed, even if he himself isn't sure he wants to.
Without it's politics, this movie is still excellent. It's a great piece of movie-making, it's involving, sad, funny and sometimes tense. One of the movies I consider classic.
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