I haven’t posted a film review since I saw Interstellar (because nothing has really phased me since), so I thought I’d write a short post about a film I saw recently that I thought was excellent.
Released last year, ’71 is Yemen Demange’s directorial debut (having been involved in several TV projects, including E4’s Dead Set) and focuses on a British Soldier’s experience in Belfast during the Troubles. Gary Hook, played by Jack O’Connell, is unintentionally split from his regiment after a riot escalates in the Catholic sector of the city and viciously pursued by a gang of murderous youths. Without protection or the locational whereabouts of his barracks, the film follows his tense journey in returning home, experiencing both emotionally and physically damaging ordeals. Although a particular sequence depicting the bombing of a pub is very upsetting, the audible techniques of O’Connell’s loss of hearing accompanied by his staggering to safety is executed perfectly and makes for a visceral experience.
O’Connell’s performance is incredible too, having recently escalated to stardom in Angelina Jolie’s biopic Unbroken, and once again proves both his versatility and depth. Similarly to Starred Up, a British prison drama that focuses on a dangerous relationship between a father and son, ’71 is very violent (at times difficult to watch) but also emotionally charged and demands attention from beginning to end.
I seriously recommend!