During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
1987, love in time of war. A bus driver George Lennox meets Carla, a Nicaraguan exile living a precarious, profoundly sad life in Glasgow. Her back is scarred, her boyfriend missing, her ... See full summary »
This song is from Mesopotamia, uh... which means the land between the two rivers: the Tigris and the Eufrates, where the homo sapiens learned to write, to count and mark the stars, which anthropologists called the cradle of civilizations. In my dreams it might be once again.
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423rd Review: Passion overtakes Ken Loach - off-balanced but effective
Ken Loach remains the British auteur. Route Irish while definitely not his best due to the off-script ad lib workshop style remains a powerful and relevant film. It would have been made into a big Hollywood thriller in the US going all the way up to the Senate and beyond, and this is the film's strength - it focuses on squaddies - simple soldiers - no big politics here - and the film gets its impact from that.
The plot of the man whose best friend joins up because of him then dies is mysterious circumstances in Iraq is a very strong plot - more so that most Loach films.
Set in Liverpool and Iraq the filming, the settings, the language, and even, in places the acting are crude and in your face - this is not Ae Fond Kiss or even The Wind That Shakes The Barley, this is an angry Ken, a Ken saying look this matters forget subtlety - let's just get it done.
The film is carried by Mark Womack who brings both skill as an actor and improviser and an unknown raw almost out of control energy that carries the themes and give the film its power.
All in all, while not Loach's best in terms of film, this should be his most powerful and relevant, but by opting for a crude and broad approach instead of some subtle in with the barrage - left this viewer numbed - some space and silences (Like all over Loach films have had magnificently) would have helped perhaps.
A visceral film but one that overpowers the viewer's emotions too much, one that while still very powerful doesn't linger as other Loach films have.
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