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What Richard Did (2012)

What Richard Did follows Richard Karlsen, golden-boy athlete and undisputed alpha-male of his privileged set of South Dublin teenagers, through the summer between the end of school and the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cian
Gavin Drea ...
Stephen
...
Jake
...
Clodagh
Rachel Gleeson ...
Eimear
Billy Gibson ...
Oisin
Mella Carron ...
Sophie Kilroy
...
Lara (as Róisín Murphy)
Eva-Jane Gaffney ...
Sask
...
Conor Harris
...
Pub Landlady
...
Boy in Cubicle
Michelle Doherty ...
Liv
...
Pat Kilroy
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Storyline

What Richard Did follows Richard Karlsen, golden-boy athlete and undisputed alpha-male of his privileged set of South Dublin teenagers, through the summer between the end of school and the beginning of university. The world is bright and everything seems possible, until in one summer night Richard does something that destroys it all and shatters the lives of the people closest to him. What Richard Did is a quietly devastating study of a boy confronting the gap between who he thought he was and who he proves to be. Written by Calum Young

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5 October 2012 (Ireland)  »

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Mit tettél, Richard?  »

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Trivia

Richard's big breakdown scene was shot in three takes. Jack Reynor was so drained afterwards that he was physically unable to do any more. See more »

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Featured in Film 2016: Episode dated 9 January 2013 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing theme terribly wasted. Missed all potential opportunities for interesting dramatic developments
17 October 2013 | by (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Ghent (Belgium) film festival 2013, where it was part of the Global Cinema section. The descriptions on festival website, Facebook and IMDb sounded intriguing. But I can tell upfront that it was a disappointment, after all. The movie starts wrong, letting us endure half an hour of tittle-tattle, partying etcetera, which time could have been spent more fruitfully. It was probably meant to gradually introduce the characters involved. It did not work for me. I got lost in the process to remember who would become important for the plot, and who was just entourage. After that, there were a few potentially memorable moments, but the film makers missed all the opportunities without exception.

Some examples of what I found wrong:

Firstly, the mother of the victim held an impressive and moving speech in church during the memorial service. This could have been the trigger for interesting developments, but it was not. It should have been placed much sooner in the script anyway, and could have been the perfect point where people start fighting with their conscience, and contemplating arguments pro and con, so that we can feel along with their reasoning.

Secondly, the conversation with his father where Richard finally confesses what has happened, is also poorly written and executed. The intro about the tree house is negligent and a waste of time. It is still not clear to me how and why Richard decided to confess, being visibly hesitant at first. He evenly could have chosen to lie to his father and deny every involvement.

Thirdly, several friends of Richard knew more or less what happened, and one of them could have leaked the truth by accident (to police, to parents, to other friends, whatever). Conversely, they all saw the victim standing up again after the confrontation, but wasted that observation to defend themselves to everyone why they did not make an issue out of the fight and check the victim's condition, or even call anonymously for an ambulance.

Finally, the police investigation falters for reasons unclear to us. This could have been exploited much better while Richard's friends knew more of the fatal accident than they told the police. This could have been excellent material for a so-called prisoner's dilemma. Alas, the police was not that competent in the case at hand, and this opportunity also got wasted.

At first sight it does not seem useful to add my user review to the many that already appear on IMDb, given already a few as negative as I am. On the other hand, their negativism has many other reasons than I had, so the above may be useful for some readers anyway. This film received a lowly 50th place for the audience award, with score 3.64 out of 5.


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