Review of The General

The General (1998)
Excellent movie, well acted but perhaps which serves perhaps to glorify an otherwise utterly contemptable character
7 May 1999
In terms of acting, direction and entertainment value, the general certainly delivers. Its is well paced, humorous and the performances of all the main actors, in particular Brendan Gleeson and Jon Voight, are excellent. I'm not sure why the film is shot in black and white, I don't think this adds particularly to the film.

My one reservation about the film is the portrayal of the main character, Martin Cahill, whom I think is overly glamorised. I remember before Cahills death his exploits as I saw them in the newspapers and television, and from the many stories which circulated around Dublin at that time of his criminal activity. This was no latter day Robin Hood. He was an unusually successful thief, no doubt, but with none of the charitable spirit. He was also extremely cruel, at one time breaking into the home of a social welfare officer and torturing him for hours simply because he had refused Cahill welfare payments.

I would recommend people to see this film, but at all times remember that the man it portrays was no one to be admired, but an example of the most vile thugs that Ireland has had the shame to produce in recent years. But then they say, "The devil has the best tales".
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