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A young Christian boy attends a druid worship that is attacked by invading Irish tribes. Taken captive, he is taken back to Ireland to become a slave. Enduring many hardships, he finds comfort and eventually salvation in his faith. After several years, he escapes back to England, where he joins a convent to prove his faith. His greatest desire is to return to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity. Years later, he is given the opportunity. Upon setting foot on the Irish soil, all snakes are aitomatically driven from the land. He then overcomes many obstacles, including disagreements with the British Cardinal (Malcolm McDowell), to fulfill his destiny and ultimately being given Sainthood. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
TVM values with a too mystical and heavy telling of the story
With the English church looking to remove his hold over the Christians in Ireland, Patrick sits down to write his life story, starting with his kidnapping into slavery in his teens, his discovery of God and his return to Ireland as a missionary for the Church.
Here's one film that you can pretty much guarantee that you'll be able to catch at least once a year somewhere on cable, not because it's good but mainly because it's one of very few films I can think of about St Patrick. I knew things were going to be rocky from the first five minutes where Patrick confronts a group of heathens and stops their worship by using `his' powers to melt their gold statute and then shatter their rock alter. It played like he was a wizard rather than a priest and, I know the legends maybe do that, but the way the film portrayed him really brought out that side of things.
This telling sucks a lot of life out of the legend and I do think that the story of St Patrick is better told by word of mouth than by this film. The second weakness is that everything is so damn worthy and reverent. I didn't expect jokes but everyone is reading delivering their lines like they are reading the word of God the young Patrick is especially guilty of this crime. It isn't terrible but it has all the usual flaws of a TVM.
The cast are OK on paper but are only average at best. Bergin is too reverent and really comes across like a lead weight than a character. The support are also too much of cardboard cut-outs and really could have been replaced by anyone doing Oirsh clichés. Malcolm McDowell is actually quite good because it is apparent from the off that he is overplaying and having a bit of fun at least he brings a bit of sorely needed energy to the film.
Overall if it wasn't for the fact that it is tied to a particular day then I doubt this film would get much of an airing. If you can put up with all the TVM weaknesses then it is still an interesting legend but you really have to dig to find the gold here.
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