Saturday, 25 April 2015

’71 — Genius … ?

25th April, 2015.

Did I mention that, at the start of April, I watched Jack O’Connell film, Starred Up: about a young prisoner who’s life changes radically, when he’s transferred from a Young Offenders Institute, to an adult prison.

It’s a very good film, I should add: one I believe is worth your time and money, much as it was mine.

I got paid, yesterday.

On the strength of that viewing?

On the strength of that viewing, sand the money burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to rent another film, tonight: after a (for me) long day.

The film in question?

The Yann Damange directed, Gregory Burke penned, Jack O’Connell film that is … 

And, I hear you ask, IS it a genius piece of film making … ?


Set in 1971, ’71 sees Jack O’Connell as Private Gary Hook: a newly recruited soldier whose regiment are assigned to Belfast: at the height of The Troubles.

Trouble, on a personal level, starts for Hook when he gets separated from his squad: when they’re assigned to help members of the RUC during a house-to-house search.

With his fellow soldier shot?   Hook is separated from his squad, still further … just as the riots go into overdrive.

It’s only when a passing child recognise he’s a lost soldier, that things start looking up.

The child — Corey McKinley — offers to take hime to a ‘friendly’ local pub.   One that — as it turns out — is used quite frequently by Loyalist paramilitaries.

One that, as Hook is outside, getting some fresh air, explodes … 

That’s where the fun really starts … 


Now … 


I really couldn’t tell you if ’71 is a work of genius: either by writer, director or leading man.

I do know I’ve seen a film that endeavours to capture the essence of the period in Britain’s history: the good and bad done by both sides, and the sheer murk someone just trying to do their job — and get away, alive and with their principles intact — and does so very well.

Personally … ?

I’m not going to call ’71 a work of genius.

I AM going to suggest you see it.

I think it will repay you.

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