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The central theme of the film revolves (mainly) around three of the
young patients in a Mental HOME; Jonathan - (Cillian Murphy) - Rachel
-(Tricia Vessey) and Toby - (Jonathan Jackson) all of whom have
feelings of suicide and complex self-harm scenarios, including various
idealisations of death imagery. Dr. Figure, (Stephen Rea) who is an
osmosis figure to help to explore and hopefully deal with their
deep-rooted demons. The surnames of the characters - Breech, Row &
Figure also say something!
Jonathan kicks off the story by driving a stolen car off a cliff in an attempt to kill himself shortly after his (alcoholic) Dad's funeral. The consequences offer up the the ultimatum of facing jail or three months in the institute - he goes for the "easy" option ; )
The personification of Jonathan is invested heavily for the first part of the film; Outwardly witty, inwardly dark, charismatic, and quite sexy.
Dispensing with society's protocols and anti-establishment, he comes across as highly intelligent and 'on top' . . . maybe some may find it difficult to warm to his inner angst at first, but perhaps the alternative working title of "The Smiling Suicide Club" would help to explain more about him and other central characters.
Jonathan's 'battle' of wits against the passive Dr. Figure, and whole structure of the institute is very witty, intelligent, and reveals a great deal about both. A fairly corny part of the dialogue draws in the "Good Will Hunting" scenario (Only because Jonathan says so in the film).
The relationship between him and Dr. Figure gives room for some very witty and at times profound observations.
The clever dialogue (always peppered with underlying angst) is PERFECT for Cillian Murphy's character.
The Group Therapy sessions let us meet and greet the other in-patients, who have occasional but important focus in the film. The love-story then ensues; NO! nothing like "One Flew" - The love part of the story and the components within it will be understood from many differing angles - depending on where you've been with your *own* demons.
The occasional night 'escapes' to the local pub, bring the needed inside-outside interaction - especially the bowling alley scene, a central turning point in the film. John Carney ensured that the stereo-typical alley was not entered regarding the love scenes.
We have an occasional snatch of the historical nature of Toby and Rachel's 'relationship' which is left to the dialogue mainly; not on screen.
This is possibly a neglected part of the film which seemed to have got lost on the cutting room floor or so it seems; perhaps with these included it may not have its cult following?
Cillian is extremely bright, charismatic, fluent and cocky with it . . . American Jonathan Jackson's Northern Irish accent is much praised by followers of this cult film and gave great pathos...
Tricia Vessey (looking, sounding and acting a ***little*** like the new Vicky from Eastenders - oops!) Drags her feet, whilst much of the walking is inside her head. To be honest you would need to have had some emotional traumas to understand and even like her. Eastenders Vicky still comes to mind - but only as a resemblance of her image.
The characteristic intake of deep breathes in sync with his raised eyebrows, Stephen Rea carries his passive, calm, role and acts very much as a mirror for the cast.
# BRILLIANT soundtrack in all the right places . . . enough to make you want to go and buy it. ON THE EDGE is totally enjoyable the first, second and maybe third time around - a great film.
After seeing this film's premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh, I cannot wait for it to be released in theatres. The acting is exceptional, especially on the part of Cillian Murphy. John Carney's direction is innovative and hopeful, and his free use of camera movements, angles and extreme close-ups adds so much to the depth of this film. Finally, the soundtrack is essential to the emotional impact of the movie. All in all, a versatile and funny film that is optimistic without nearing sappiness.
"On the Edge" is a touching story about people and life. It is too bad
it never got a wider release, audiences would have appreciated it.
Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea make this film. Murphy creates a relatable character with Jonathan, making us genuinely care for him and empathize with his pain. He is a talent to watch. Rea's subtle style of acting is perfect for the role of Dr. Figure. Their scenes together are funny and poignant at the same time. The dialogues between them are very well written, as are the ones between Jonathan and Rachel (the also good Tricia Vessey).
Since I always pay attention to a film's atmosphere, I have to say that I loved the atmosphere and cinematography in "On the Edge". There is a melancholy and earthy quality to the cinematography, which fits perfectly with the film's themes of joy, sorrow and, ultimately, life as the most valuable thing in the universe.
Everyone should see this film for its wonderful message and the acting.
i am tired of going into details on films . Cillian Murphy is captivating. The comedy is brilliant in timing and delivery and Stephen Rea plays it low profile in this film. Such constant and well done comedic content is based around young adults whon in despair do not wish to live and are institutionalised for it. (which is rare enough to find mental health assistance in ireland). the main character starts out wanting to end his life , commits sarcasm and jokes on all serious matters to hide his pain. He then through a series of life's common events, grows to appreciate life in a most touching way. as they say Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy" which seems to make a premise of this film yet for the character, his comedy stemming from pain grows to enlightenment. anyone who can understandably see the levels of mental depression in ireland that go without treatment can , i hope , relate to the issue at hand and appreciate the ability to laugh at life as well as treasure it. anyway this is how i interpret it, ( nothing worse than a critic, lol) ;-)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jonathan, the young man at the center of this tale, is a tormented soul
who has seen enough in his life. After his alcoholic father dies, he
has plans about what to do with his life. By ending it, it appears that
his soul would be at rest, but in an unsuccessful attempt to end it
all, Jonathan survives, and is sent to a mental institution where,
supposedly, he would be helped.
John Carney, the talented director of "On the Edge", which he co-wrote with Daniel James, shows he has clear ideas about what is troubling Jonathan, as well as the other young people in the institution where the young man is sent.
Jonathan, who is a man who has clear ideas about why he shouldn't be confined to the hospital, clashes with Dr. Figure, the therapist assigned to work with him and the other young people. Jonathan questions Dr. Figure's authority, but ends up accepting his situation, not without rebelling at every chance he gets. The other two people he identifies with, Toby, and Rachel, have also deeply rooted problems in that they have attempted suicide.
Cillian Murphy does another excellent job in the film. He is an actor that is not predictable, as proved by his work in the movies. As Jonathan, he shows an intensity that is incredible. Jonathan Jackson plays Toby in a different fashion, yet, in a subtle fashion he gets inside his character in a great performance. Tricia Vessey is seen as Rachel, a young woman that craves for attention and finds a kindred soul in Jonathan. Stephen Rea continues to surprise in a small role as Dr. Figure.
"On the Edge" shows the work of a talented director that surely will go far.
On the Edge is a very unique film that you will not soon forget. From the very beginning I was captivated by the story and its characters. The characters are true to life as are the issues they are facing so it was very easy for me to identify with them. I was impressed by the performances of all three of the main actors, Cillian Murphy, Tricia Vessey and Jonathan Jackson. If I have any complaints about the film at all it would have to be that Jonathan Jackson should have been given top billing since it is his character, Toby, who is the true heart of the film.
If Cillian Murphy had only one movie role to identify himself by, On the Edge should be it. You could almost feel the energy coming off his slender body in waves as he strode through the scenes, wise cracking one minute, driving a BMX off a cliff the next. In this story of Jonathon Breech, a young Irishman's battle with death, depression, and love, my only beef came with Jonathon Jackson's accent. It wasn't terrible, but it was enough to make me cringe a few times when I'd rather have concentrated on Cillian's ice blue eyes, Cillian's deep Irish brogue, Cillian's large, working man's hands... Well-known for playing mentally off-kilter roles, Cillian Murphy is one of those blue-eyed actors (Paul Newman, Robert Redford) who can emote with stillness. There were times when the soundtrack in this film seemed to dominate, catchy teeny-bopper gingles gangling in the background, and then the camera light would catch a certain nuance in his face. It was like seeing a window opened. If you're a romantic, this one is worth renting.
I finished watching this movie for the second time today. I find it was dark. I have never seen a movie that explores the feelings that a person might have after surviving a suicide. It makes me sad to see that "Johnathan" and "Rachel" went through but at the same time it gives me a feeling that the movie was not quite finished. What will happen to these two characters as they live on after their friend past away? Johnathan Jackson performed really well with an Irish accent. Maybe the ending leaves you open to feel like "yeah whatever." The movie did give some advice, and one of it is like " a person who survives a suicide might never tell you how they feel." But I think they will tell that feeling to someone they really trust.
This is not what you would call an average Irish film where ordinary
people fight poverty, or kids gets dragged into nasty criminal
business. The film seems to have gotten some bad reviews and I can only
guess that this is because these people did not look hard enough. As
the saying goes; 'the truth lies in the eyes of the beholder'. No, this
film features something completely and utterly different. The film
circulates around trust and what you can and what you can not do for a
person depraved of the will to live. It touches the subject of trust
very elegantly. Both romance and friendship is a part of the film, they
do not take a leading purpose of the story but are always present in
I was awestruck by the beauty of this film, it struck the bullseye of my heart. I am guessing that if you have ever known a very depressed soul this movie has a lot to teach you.
After the death of his alcoholic father, Jonathan Breech (Cillian
Murphy) steals the urn with his ashes from the house of his brother and
drives a robbed car off a cliff to commit suicide. However her survives
and accepts an alternative sentence of three months in therapy in a
psychiatric hospital with a suicide group under the supervision of Dr.
Figure (Stephen Rea). He befriends the disturbed Rachel Row (Tricia
Vessey), who saw her mother dying in an accident, and Toby (Jonathan
Jackson), who accidentally killed his brother in a car crash. During
the treatment, the sarcastic Jonathan changes his behavior and sees the
importance of being alive.
"On the Edge" explores an unusual theme - the behavior of persons that have survived a suicide attempt. However, the plot fails since it is pointless and the motives of the lead character to try to commit suicide are never clear: does he miss his alcoholic father, or is he simply a crazy disturbed young man? On the contrary, the motives of Rachel and Toby are very clear. The acting is great, with the exception of Stephen Rea, who has a weak performance in the role of a passive psychiatrist that does not seem to help his patients. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "A Beira da Loucura" ("On the Edge of the Madness")
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