Film Review & Trailer: South

screenshot-2016-11-27-23-46-33Frances Winston felt that this was a sweet little film, despite some minor problems

Directed by: Gerard Walsh – Starring: Darragh O’Toole, Joe Rooney, Andie McCaffrey Byrne, Emily Lamey

It’s been a great year for Irish cinema, with an abundance of home-grown movies on offer for cinema-going patrons. Given the work that goes into getting something to the stage where it is released here, all the filmmakers behind them should be proud of their offerings.

This is the latest addition to the Irish cinema family. It follows teenager, Tom (O’Toole), a wannabe musician, who suffers from stage fright. He sets out on a road trip to find the mother who abandoned him as a baby, following the death of his father (Rooney).

However, Tom has lived a rather insular existence, and he doesn’t even make it out of the bus station, before he is robbed and on his uppers. With no money and nowhere to go, he is forced to sleep in a garden, and he is found the next morning by Jess (Lamey) who listens to his problems, and offers to drive him to the capital to search for his long-lost mum. However, the old adage of ‘be careful what you wish for’ could well apply when Tom finally comes face to face with her.

This is a simple story, and only runs to around 75 minutes, so it doesn’t outstay its welcome. O’Toole is great as the wide-eyed, naïve, Tom, and you do find yourself hoping things work out for him. He bounces off Lamey well also, and although her Jess is something of a stereotypical rebellious teen, you do warm to her. There is some lovely cinematography, and a suitably sparse and haunting soundtrack.

However, I did have an issue with the storytelling. There are numerous contrived scenes that simply push the boundaries of dramatic licence too far – including the robbery scene. As a viewer, it actually looked like it was simply shoehorned in. Ditto the scene where Tom reports it to the Guards, and several others. There are many far more believable scenarios that could have been written to push the plot along, without resorting to such OTT and blatantly implausible measures.

That said, if you overlook those scenes, this is a sweet little movie, and when there is a good scene it is very good. There are some beautiful duologues throughout, and some very touching moments.

If you are looking for a nice little film that is not too taxing, this could be the one for you. It’s Irish, and it’s always good to support our own.

In Cinemas Now!   See Trailer Below:

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