In 1971, a young and disoriented British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.In 1971, a young and disoriented British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.In 1971, a young and disoriented British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.
Several comments: this is the feature debut from French director Yann Demange, and what a remarkable debut it is. "71" is both a top notch political movie and action thriller. How many movies can make that claim? The tension that builds up in the street riots is incredible, and remain palpable later on. Once Hook escapes the first immediate danger, he catches his breath, and only then realizes the horrible position that he finds himself in, and every choice he makes from here on out can be the wrong one. As to the political side, things are not clearly black and white, and in fact the comment is made several times in the movie that "the situation is confused" and we can't always tell who the "good" guys and the "bad" guys are. I suspect that this is an accurate reflection of how things were like back then in Northern Ireland. The cast is, for me anyway, a cast of unknowns. Jack O'Connell as Hook brings an incredible performance. Last but not least, there is an outstanding score for this movie, courtesy of David Holmes (best known for his scores from the Ocean's 11-12-13 series).
The movie opened finally opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I couldn't wait to see it. The early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay. Even though I had high expectations going in, they were met, and then some. In fact, the only negative point I will mention is that at times I had trouble understanding all the lives, due to the (fake or real, I'm not sure) Northern Irish accents. Bottom line: if you are in the mood for a top notch quality political and action drama, you cannot go wrong with this. "71" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Apr 4, 2015