Other films by John Crowley: Intermission (2003), Is Anybody Out There? (2008)
I honestly did not expect the film to be as good as it is. The overall story was heartbreaking and real. The cinematography was above average and so were the performances of the cast. The score fits well; a well packed film.
Directing: I believe John Crowley did very well with directing the film. Being an adaptation of a novel written by Jonathan Trigell, with the same name, the medium Crowley used to provide the transition of events and the inner reflections of the characters were impressive and well-thought out. The atmosphere it gave passed through different winds: from a sense of purity and beginning, to simple attraction and friendship, party and alcohol, love, childhood drama, conflict, etc... The shots and editing was above average and the lighting was very good as well. The cinematography is quite simple but very moving.
From Jack’s relationship with Terry, Chris, or Kelly, we were allowed to involve ourselves to the perspectives of each character without pushing us away from the main one. I find that difficult and special to be achieved upon and Crowley really did well there.
Plot: The plot is quiet yet eventful and significant from the start. It didn’t need too much time to introduce the personality of the characters and the atmosphere. Slowly, though, with the help of the relevant flashbacks (which revolved around Jack’s childhood story/trauma and friendship with a boy named Philip), we become aware of his story throughout and what to possibly expect from a life after such tragedy.
The story really dwells on past tragedies, new beginnings, forgiveness, and the relationship that one (ironically, a victim) experiences with others. The story is very sad and tormenting, yet real and more than convincing.
Characters/Acting: Andre Garfield has my recognition with his performance in the film. He was pretty much moderate and convincing from the majority part of the film until the conflict wherein the world and the past just came crashing into him just when things were getting really brighter for him. His acting, with a great help from the transition and formation played by Crowley’s directing, shined very much all throughout the last part of the film. I’d give my compliments to Peter Mullan as well for being really convincing and moving with his role despite having a limited space of acting time.
Score: The score is really fitting and nice. It complements the mood and expression of the characters nicely. It was there when needed and it provided the right emotion that befriends the stage and the audience.