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Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ... Written by
Daniel Day-Lewis plays a former IRA man released from prison for a bombing that took place years ago. While out and about, he tries to put his life back together by opening up a gym open to everyone regardless of their religious beliefs and rekindles an old romance with Emily Watson, even though she's got a kid and her husband, one of Day-Lewis's former fellow IRA mates, is still in jail. Naturally, the IRA starts making life rough for Day-Lewis, but he refuses to back down and be intimidated in the face of adversity.
Sure it may not dig as deeply on uncomfortable subjects the way "My Left Foot", "In The Name of the Father" or even "The Last of the Mohicans", but this is still a damn fine film addressing a still current problem in Ireland.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Emily Watson are a great pair and their chemistry helps keep the film aloft.
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