Published: 10 January, 2013
by DAN CARRIER
What Richard Did
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Director Lenny Abrahamson has carved himself a place in the film world bringing us small-scale stories from Ireland that act as microcosms of larger issues.
He uses the Ken Loach trick of finding people who aren’t considered actors – and by doing so, brings out truly naturalistic performances. His previous includes Adam and Paul, and Garage – both minor hits on the indie circuit – and with What Richard Did, he has done so again.
Richard Karlsen, played by Jack Reynor is a happy teenager with plenty going for him: university beckons, and life is sweet.
But things get complicated when he falls for Lara (Roisin Murphy), prompting some trouble with her ex-boyfriend. Suddenly the simple path laid out in front of him – teenage kicks followed by study followed by a good career – is littered with obstacles to overcome.
With some extraordinarily tense moments, the film has plenty to keep you gripped, but above all, the joy of the film is the simplistic direction, the steady performances and the under-played dialogue.
The dash of morality running through it also doesn’t grate (it could) and instead plays out like a fable for modern times. Good work from all concerned.
Directed by Stephanie Lamorre
Next week, City University’s Centre for Investigative Journalism is hosting a documentary film festival, and the line-up looks excellent.
The films include Cotton for My Shroud (India), Bahrain: the Forbidden Country (France), Tracked (France), The Poison in our Homes (Romania), Blood Coal (The Netherlands) and The Murder of the Honeybee (The Netherlands) and all are new to the UK. Law of the Jungle (Denmark), which has had a limited UK release, will also be shown.
For more information, see www.cij.org