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What Richard Did (2012)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,380 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 25 user | 58 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

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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(as Leonard Abrahamson)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Cian Fox
Gavin Drea ...
Stephen O'Brien
...
Jake Galvin
...
Clodagh Grady
Rachel Gleeson ...
Eimear Byrne
Billy Gibson ...
Oisin Farrelly
Mella Carron ...
Sophie Kilroy
Roisin Murphy ...
Lara Hogan (as Róisín Murphy)
Eva-Jane Gaffney ...
Sask
...
Conor Harris
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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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Drama

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Release Date:

5 October 2012 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Mit tettél, Richard?  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film Lenny Abrahamson has made that's adapted from an existing novel. See more »

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Featured in Film 2014: Episode dated 9 January 2013 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great elements, good film
6 May 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This film seems to confirm and amplify Abrahamson's (Adam & Paul, Garage) considerable strengths as a film-maker, and, to a lesser extent his frustrating weaknesses.

On the plus side, he is great with his actors, both in who he casts and what he gets out of them. His characters always feel complex and real. He also sets up very convincing, morally ambiguous worlds, situations and people. No easy heroes and villains.

But he also has a tendency to be drawn to melodramatic twists, and those actually make his films less interesting, not more, as it feels like he's trying to force the emotional issues.

In many ways my favorite part of the film was the first 45 minutes before the central incident. Abrahamson is great at observing and capturing the complexities of late teen-age life with subtlety and a fresh eye. These aren't the desperate angry street kids of poverty, nor are they the morally bankrupt idiots we often see rich kids portrayed as. They feel real; they drink, but they're not all alcoholics and stoners. They have sex, but more often than not it's attached to some sense of emotion, at graspings towards being in a relationship. Their parents are flawed but trying. Its people as people, not just symbols, even though subtle issues of class and social standing inform the whole story.

But when it gets to the big twists and the big themes, I felt it laboring more, working at it's effects instead of letting them happen. It's not that the 2nd half isn't good,it's that it lacks the power the set up and situation seems to promise. It sticks to it's ambiguity, but it starts to feel just a touch like an intellectual conceit, not an exploration of darker human truths.


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