|Index||4 reviews in total|
Interesting premise, great locations, some striking photography and good performances but the writing was a big let-down. The plot was full of holes, the dialogue was corny ("- Where are you from? - I'm from flesh and blood.") and some of the characters were very two-dimensional (especially Cub the boy and the Loyalists). The ending was sentimental, simplistic and clichéd. Had the makings of a great film, but sadly fell short.
This film starts quite light, I thought, in the same vein as the Field, with
a southern mapmaker making a map in a rural border town, plagued with all
the sours of N. Ireland, and exposing them comically. However, it soon gets
very dark, focusing in on a young boy who is determined to find out why his
father was really killed by the IRA.
There's not really much more to say about this film, without giving too much away. But a very fine premise, perhaps not fully fulfilling promise, but not very far off.
"The Mapmaker" is a small, independent movie about one of the most complex places on our planet, Northern Ireland. Hostilities and violence in that region are well known to all of us, from the news, but the unknown are the real, human stories behind the daily horror. This movie attempted to give us some of that. Unfortunately, it falls short in that regard. The characters are black and white, the plot pretty pedestrian, and the feel of the whole endeavor is confusing. The best part of the movie is acting, with some powerful personalities. The fault is at directors lack of focus. Complex stories need complex minds and concentration of steel. That definitely wasn't the case here.
If I understood everything correctly (the relations weren't always clear),
it is (intended) like this:
A mapmaker (surprise!) enters the area around the Irish-Northern Irish border in this "political ghost story`. It is the time of the peace process. Slightly rooted there via his granfather he is a stranger on terrain filled with emotion and meaning, soaked with blood. His work unearthes the dead, provokes threats and suppressed hate. When Gogan finishes his protagonist's work with a tape recorded by an assumed informer (killed therefore), Protestants and Catholics get united having a look at his map. An atmospherically dense glimpse of hope. Hopefully to provide a perspective opposed to the ghosts of the past and the madness of a hybrid everyday life between openness and deceit.
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