Saturday, 3 September 2016

A date for mad Mary

Impressive debut feature from director Darren Thornton. Set in Drogheda it's about a violent woman who has to find a man to bring along to her friend's wedding. Despite the slight story the performances and casting are impressive (particularly the actress who played the bride-to-be). The music is all house music and it's interesting how it gets used in different scenes. What's really good about the movie is that you won't care for the characters at the beginning but eventually they become likeable. The film explores the tense relationships between different women; one good scene was the wedding speech written by Mary but spoken by another girl. Another was with the grandmother saying even a sniper wouldn't take Mary out! Another was the argument with the bride who claims everyone except Mary has moved on (the bride lives in some built-up Celtic Tiger estate!). There are lots of these working-class Irish dramas getting made recently but this is easily the best. It avoids the pointless clich├ęs of recent Irish cinema (pianos, establishing shots, pained faces, drugs, hand-held camerawork, uneven performances). Compare this deep and moving wedding film with similar but awful Irish titles like Happy ever afters.

Title: A date for mad Mary
Genre: Drama
New/old: New
Cinema/DVD: Cinema

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