Eden

Eden

***1/2

Reviewed by: George Williamson

The Farrells are having relationship problems - Billy's spending an ever increasing amount of time with the lads at the pub and Breda's withdrawn to evenings with the sofa, television and long hot soaks in the tub. He fantasises about a younger woman, while she dreams of him as a younger man, when he still wanted her, and craves passion. If this is Eden, who will bite the apple?

Billy (Aidan Kelly) and Breda (Eileen Walsh) were a loving married couple, but as their tenth wedding anniversary comes along things are crumbling fast. He is becoming increasingly obsessed by girls years his junior, and is spending all his time at bars with his mates, ogling firm young bodies and avoiding spending time with his family. Breda still loves him but is exasperated by his absence and can't find the words to say what she wants, fearing outright rejection. Things are further compounded by their friends offering unhelpful sagely advice at every opportunity and their two preteen children's demands for love and attention. With increasing stress and sparse communication they are slowly spiralling away from each other and becoming strangers. On the night of their celebration things finally come to a head and they both take radical action.

Copy picture

This film is adapted from a stage play by Eugene O'Brien and has made the transition to screen very smoothly. It doesn't feel overly stagy, but the scenes between the couple feel very emotionally charged - there's an incredible sense of pleading desperation from Eileen Walsh and Aidan Kelly is almost upsettingly real as the husband who's simply unable to make himself interested in his wife any more.

It's a heartbreaking duet from the two actors and is steadily steered by Declan Recks who keeps the plot tight and reasonably well paced. It's fortunate that the direction is good as the film could easily have slipped into a stock Hollywood story about the evils of drink, but instead it remains fixed in its ideals - it's clear that alcohol isn't the cause of their problems, it simply exacerbates them. That said, the film does feature some nauseatingly realistic portrayals of drunken male behaviour, and highlights the drawbacks of lowered inhibitions.

Eden is a good character drama; it doesn't really cover any new ground, but it's well acted and directed.

Reviewed on: 01 Jul 2008
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The disintegration of a marriage.

Director: Declan Recks

Writer: Eugene O'Brien

Starring: Aidan Kelly, Eileen Walsh, Padraic Delaney, Edna Oates, Lesley Conroy, Karl Shiels

Year: 2008

Runtime: 83 minutes

Country: Ireland


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