Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922.Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
The character Ned Broy, played by Stephen Rea in the film, is in fact a composite of the historical figures Ned Broy, who was a double agent in the police, and Dick McKee, who was Commandant of the Dublin Brigade of the IRA, and hence a central figure in planning intelligence operations with Collins. Broy survived the war, but McKee was captured the night before the attack on British agents and shot, reputedly while attempting to escape. Broy, only a Sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police would be rewarded by being made head of the Irish Free State's new police national force, the Garda. Ironically, he would go to great lengths to encourage ex-Royal Irish Constabulary officers to join the new force, giving them preference in recruitment and absorb the Dublin Metropolitan Police as a whole into the new organization. See more »
Joe O'Reilly was not with Collins in Beal na mBlath on 22 August 1922. See more »
[dictating a letter]
You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »
It`s near impossible to be objective about political violence in Ireland but why when given the opportunity to make the definitive film about 20th century Ireland the film makers decide to shoot themselves in the foot ?
What I hate about this film is it`s pathetic attempt to be two sided . No one is shown to be an out and out villian even though extreme violence was frequently used by both sides. This maybe seen by some as being objective and two sided but strikes me as a cop out , and a cowardly one at that. I`d have no problem with the Brits being shown as the bad guys , they did commit atrocities in Ireland at this time , of that there`s no dispute , but couldn`t have the first half of the film concentrated on this more ? Likewise there was just as many violent atrocities commited by Irishmen on Irishmen following the creation of the Irish free state. Couldn`t the second half have been far more brutal in showing De Valera to be a political opportunist only interested in power and using the lives of Irish patriots in order to get it ?
Most unforgivable of all is the dilemma faced by the real life Collins of creating an independant Ireland without causing a war with the unionists in the North. Oh yes the majority of people in Northen Ireland want to remain British and a sizable minority would violently oppose a breakaway. Never once does this limp biopic point out that partition is the only optition Collins had to avert an Irish bloodbath. We see Collins going to meet the British government , then it cuts to the next scene a few months later where Collins returns to Dublin with a deal that has split Ireland in two. There is no exposition or explanation as to why Collins HAD TO negotiate partition. Instead Neil Jordan and Co decide it`s a better idea making a film that concentrates on a love triangle.
So what does this piece of Hollywood garbage actually tell us ? Only that Michael Collins called lots of people " Gobs**** " , that Alan Rickman can certainly act , that Julia Roberts and Aidan Quinn certainly can`t , and that Stephan Rae would make a good James Bond.
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