Reviewed by: David Stanners

Directed by John Crowley, under Neil Jordan's production company, Intermission is one of the best scripted (Mark O'Rowe) comedies to emerge from Irish soil in a while. Set in modern day Dublin, it takes the interweaving lives of ordinary folk, looking for love in all the wrong places, and blankets them in an hilarious tapestry of ill fate and sheer bad luck.

Colin Farrell, plays Lehiff, a shaven headed, tracksuit-wearing hooligan with an eye for one last heist before he settles. On the other side of the track is his nemesis, the mean-eyed pugilistic detective Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney), who, in between convincing the local journalist to shoot self-congratulatory videos of himself as a hard bruising law enforcer, is on Lehiff's case for nicking his car.

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Then you have Cillian Murphy, as John, a hopeless romantic who goes full circle, dumping his girlfriend Deirdre (Kelly McDonald), leaving his supermarket job and joining Lehiff to win her back, after he realises his mistake.

Needless to say, Lehiff's scam goes off the rails, not for the usual reasons, but due to the intervention of the ready fists of Noeleen, (Deirdre O'Kane), a woman with obvious anger issues. The plot makes twists and turns like a snake writhing in the desert. To tell would be to spoil, but suffice to say, writer, director and cast have colluded brilliantly.

The delivery of the script is highly polished from a large ensemble cast with CVs running off the page. Meaney is on top form, as the brutal cop, vulnerable to comical circumstances. Farrell, who can't get enough these days, is on home turf, oozing raw machismo and wideboy antics. Murphy, another rangy actor, with big doughy eyes, is every bit the soft centre in a hard shell. The supporting ensemble is well cast, with O'Kane particularly entertaining, as a woman in need of a shrink.

The comedy aspect has been nailed on the head. Split second delivery and great observation prevails. Drinking brown sauce and pretending it's nice is one of the clinchers. Knocking the boss out with a tin of beans is another, but there are more, many more, not to be spilled/spoiled here.

With stories of bad funding and apathy in the Irish film industry recently, let's hope this is the thin end of a wedge.

Reviewed on: 17 Aug 2003
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Multi-character ensemble comedy action heist.
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Director: John Crowley

Writer: Mark O'Rowe

Starring: Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney, Kelly McDonald, Shirley Henderson, Cillian Murphy, Ger Ryan, Brian F O'Byrne, Michael McElhatton, Deirdre O'Kane, Dermot Wilmot

Year: 2003

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Ireland


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