Cal, a young man on the fringes of the IRA, falls in love with Marcella, a Catholic woman whose husband, a Protestant policeman, was killed one year earlier by the IRA.Written by
Mark Whitnall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film was entered to screen in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1984. See more »
When Cal and his father sit on the bed his father has a cup of tea with a spoon. He takes the teabag out with the spoon and puts the spoon on the table. In the next shot the spoon is in the cup. See more »
Cal... I'm sorry. I feel bad for hurting you the other night. Will you forgive me?
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Moderately gripping until it becomes too depressing
This story is truly a tragedy about Northern Ireland. The protagonist is Cal, a sensitive and aimless working-class Catholic youth in Ulster. Cal holds down various low-paying manual jobs during the day and at night, sometimes performs services for the Irish Republican Army, even though he's only a minor participant. In his most significant job, he becomes the getaway driver for the killer of a Protestant policeman, an assignment which upsets him greatly. A year later, he meets Marcella, a lonely, widowed librarian and becomes infatuated with her, and they drift into an affair. However, he learns to his horror that her late husband was the murdered policeman and can't bring himself to tell her. Meanwhile, both the law and the I.R.A. are beginning to close in on him. The film's intentions are good. It's an attempt to tell the story of ordinary people trapped in a place and time of political violence that damages everyone and everything around it, and forces people to make decisions that inevitably have tragic consequences. Unfortunately, there is too much tragedy, too much sadness, so much that it becomes hard to believe. The lead characters are a problem, too. The are weak and resigned people who can only evoke pity. You certainly cannot cheer them on like you could stronger people, the kinds of people who make good things happen for them. The result is tragedy overkill. Eventually, the viewer will also become resigned and glum.
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