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Patrick is a warm, open, twenty-six year old virgin schizophrenic. Pills and his mother's protection means Patrick is no threat to himself or others. Until he falls in love. Maura is Patrick's obsessive mother and her need to control her son blinds her to the reality that sometimes the only thing more damaging than hate is misguided love. Soon to be redundant, alcoholic air-hostess, Karen, books into an hotel to end her life unaware that the intimacy she shares with Patrick will reintroduce her to living. Dysfunctional loner cop, Freeman, wants to be a stand-up comic, but, when Maura loses her son, Freeman will use his position to help her find him, for a price. A provocative love story about the right to intimacy for everyone Patrick's Day suggests, when it comes to love, we're all a little crazy. Written by
This movie isn't for pussies, it's a deliberate and awesome attack on the scenes!
I saw Patrick's Day last night in Dublin! I've been looking forward to seeing this movie for a long time mainly because I admire Terry McMahon the writer/director. What he did with his first movie Charlie Casanova was one of the most inspirational stories of the recession. Getting it made and then picked up by studio canal at a time when everything seemed impossible, was a fist pumping "get in there" achievement! Terry should be a hero for any independent filmmaker and indeed any artist with the desire to undertake a project that's immense and insurmountable while encumbered by the economic vicissitudes of reality today. Taking all that into account I probably would've been happy enough if Patrick's day just didn't suck. I know the film has won awards and was lauded by many influential people who appear in the marketing material that wild-card distribution are using. But I'm afraid, I've become a cynic of late. I just don't believe anything that I read or see on the Internet any more, least of all anyone's self promotion. Despite my newly found cynicism I bought my ticket and popcorn, picked a seat in the middle of the middle of the theatre and strapped myself in for an experience where I knew absolutely anything could happen. I found over the years that when it comes to watching Irish made films, I've had to dramatically lower my standards and just watch it as a probably scarlet, Paddy flick and allowances would have to be made for its myriad flaws! Patrick's Day is not one of these movies, no dropped standards or allowances were required! Indeed all the balls stayed firmly in the air throughout. Not a scarlet moment, does it have! It sounds great, it looks great and it tells a riveting story which although it is original, it's dripping with the stuff of universal human condition! I'm not going to give anything away about the plot, I think the less you know about it before you see it, the better! The DP Michael Lavelle did an outstanding job! I don't remember walking away from many Irish films before, thinking about how the colour palettes were used to reflect the different moods of the characters. Is it usual to watch an independent movie and come away musing on one-point prospective and the symmetry of staging? I don't think so! They use some very clever camera work with first person perspective shots slipping in and out of focus to visually represent to the audience moments of intoxication or madness! In another quite magical and incredibly intimate scene the DP manipulates background light to create these abstract shapes erotic human union. That might sound a bit artsy fartsy but it's not because none of the techniques are gratuitous and the pace of the movie never drops enough for you to put your bitchy critical hat on! The sound-design, effects and tracks were all perfectly and seamlessly mixed together. This sounds like a platitude but audio is one area where an indie-movie can let itself down tragically. On the contrary, here I believe the whole sound department did a whopper job with more than a couple of stand out 'wow that's really impressive audio' moments. At times reminding me of a Joe Wright movie like Atonement because at cretin subtle audio effects are ratcheted in the moment up to tale over the senses for dramatic effect! Patrick's Day is Patrick Fitzgerald's story! Patrick is a schizophrenic man in his mid 20s who's been institutionalised for most of his life! Moe Dunford plays the part just like a fully-fledged movie star. For a relatively unknown actor it's ridiculous that he has such a strong camera presents! I have no doubt that we'll be seeing Moe again on the big screen, he's a proper actor who brought the good stuff to every scene! Kerry Fox who played Patrick's mother Maura was also very good as was Catherine Walker who played the love interest Karen Prescott. It's a story about mental health, sexuality, parenting, lies, control, authority, betrayal, violence and truth but it's primarily about love! Love under madness or madness under love! It's a provocative, compelling story, which skips along with nimble pace, only stopping to labour a point when some captivating acting demands it. There are some extraordinary scenes throughout the movie showcasing exceptional acting skill! You can see the actor's motivations and objectives, the obstacles in front of them and exactly what they're prepared to do to overcome these obstacles. During the 102 min's, I was moved to tears, laughed out loud a few times and even managed to squeeze in a fist pump. This movie isn't for pussies, it's a deliberate attack on the scenes and it will stay with you for some time afterword. This director is someone who is never short of something to say, so I found it remarkable that the same man makes choices with his direction, which favour showing over telling, again and again. As the writer, he's in every frame of the movie and the choices always appear to be objective, there's a definite reason why everything is done. He's telling us something, something gross and something subtle with the faintest whisper of the writers devices and chicanery, left only for the very perceptive to notice! This is a really good movie, it ticks so many boxes that it's easy to see why it swept the boards at all the festivals. I'm Very proud of Terry and Moe and everyone else involved, looking forward to seeing it again and I'm also super excited about what Terry will do next. Make sure you go to see it and support Irish Film.
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