IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
DIRECTOR: JIM SHERIDAN
CINEMATOGRAPHY: PETER BIZIOU
MUSIC: TREVOR JONES
CAST: Daniel Day Lewis, Pete Postlewaith, Emma Thompson, John Lynch, Colin Redgrave
ONE WORD: The acting.
Why is it that the worst of the human mind, and actions, always brings about the best acting material for anyone....???
What is an excellent film, and probably will get many accolades, is by all intents an expose of the forced rule which England has on Ireland, and its problems. At the time of the new rule, England was trying to do anything it could to help its own political position in the eyes of the public, and like its history, it is never afraid, of making examples to prove its point.
And on a given night, a pub is blown up and several people are eventually arrested on grounds of conspiracy.... and unlike the average IRA militant young man, the case involves what appears to be plain people, which might just be the case that the English system of law wants... it shows its point and reason for creating the new law (suspects could be arrested and kept in jail for undetermined periods of time).
Gerry Conlon, and his family and a few friends, ended up being the Guildford Four, and spent many years in jail for it. Their case was, by and large, ignored for a long period of time, until reports begun appearing that something was wrong, when an investigator with a destiny, takes on the details.
And on a fateful day, a flu, unleashes the fate of the guilty into not guilty. A perfect statement that the innocent may be hurt for a while, but in the end they win, and their victory
is ever lasting.
Gerry Conlon, might have never made it out of prison, and his attitude through out the film is almost always, one of a rebellious youth, who is tired of the attitude his father has of him, for whatever reason. This is more a statement on "the times change" than it is a real fact.... in those days parents thought this was right.... but as the film wears on, the father, whose battle against the wrong never ended in his heart, but he never failed at staying strong, and a fervent religious heart, who believed in the cause of his innocence, and knew that he would sooner or later come out of it, even if not alive. But his dreams, and visions of the beauty, and sense of caring will never die, and he knows it. Be it his son, or his wife, or his family.
Eventually, all of the Guildford Four were released, and various settlements were reached, but those who were empowered with upholding the law were also not convicted of anything. And probably, many others are in the jails for similar reasons, and make shift proof.
With an extraordinary performance by Pete Postlewaith, as the father, this film is extremely strong, and capable of arousing many of our inner instincts of hatred for many improprieties. At the time it seemed it all was a lark, and even many inmates are enjoying many psychedelics as a refuge to the fact that they are wrongly charged, if charged at all.
Daniel Day Lewis, as Gerry Conlon, is also just as good, though for an audience of Americans, the heavy accent is very hard to pick up ( where are the subtitles when you need them ), but nevertheless, even if you miss what he is saying, you do not miss the feeling that comes with it.
Emma Thompson, plays the investigator that un-earths the whole thing, and is interesting, although her performance is certainly a very good one, but one wonders how much impact anyone else might have made in that role. She does bring a lot of attention to the film, and adds to the general feeling, which many English artists have, that the political system has failed in the cause of the Irish, and other provinces in England. The system is not about what is right or wrong, but what the ruling class still wants.... nothing has changed in a thousand years.
With great direction by Jim Sheridan, who is probably the best known bloke ( Kenneth aside ) in his country, he still does theatre in Dublin, and works on exposing much political incorrectness, although he hides much of it, just so he can stay doing what he does best... theatre and film.
Excellent piece of work, and deserving all of its accolades. And based on the book by Gerry Conlon, titled Proven Innocent. Check out the end reference to the Kennedy's.... makes you wonder.
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