[PASSNOTES] ’71 (2014)

By on March 13th, 2015

'71 (2014)

’71 Dir. Yann Demange – QFT Belfast 15th Mar

Who’s in it? Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris

What’s it about?’71 is an exhilarating action thriller set in Troubles era Northern Ireland which sees British squaddie Gary Hook (O’Connell) separated from his regiment when a routine RUC house raid quickly becomes a high stakes game of cat and mouse following a riot in Republican West Belfast. After seeing a fellow soldier shot dead in cold blood by the Provisional IRA, scared and disoriented, Hook goes on the run in a desperate attempt to make it back to his barracks alive. Lost and alone in the wrong place at the worst time, as dusk deepens to night, the chase is on through a seemingly endless labyrinth of terraced houses and narrow back-alleys, trying to avoid the paramilitaries who want him dead and tentatively seeking refuge among the locals. With an accomplished central performance from Belfast boy O’Connell, supported by a strong cast of local talent, including Good Vibrations star Richard Dormer, ’71 is a showcase of the best of contemporary British cinema, handling a sensitive subject with a deft touch and delivering a masterclass in escapist entertainment in the process.

Memorable Moments? At one point Hook crosses paths with a young Loyalist boy who guides him to a friendly part of town in a sequence which is as funny as it is tense and intimidating, offering a frightening insight into the tribal tendancies which lend the film it’s unique complexion.

Look who’s talking:‘Powerfully directed and acted, ’71 stays true to its fact-based origins while remaining as gripping as any solidly crafted action thriller.’ – Rotten Tomatoes

Like that? Try this: Shadow Dancer (2013) is a similarly familiar and thought provoking Belfast based Troubles thriller about an IRA member who turns informant for MI5 to protect her son.

Trivia Pursuit: The exterior shots were filmed on location with Blackburn, Sheffield and Liverpool doubling as 70s Belfast.

One Response to “[PASSNOTES] ’71 (2014)”

  1. 1 le0pard13
    March 13th, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Caught this two weeks ago. Indeed, “Powerfully directed and acted…” One of my favorites of the year.

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