February 26, 2015

71 (2014)

71 (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Yann Demange
Country: UK

Movie Review: With experience in TV series since 2007, the French-born director raised in the UK, Yann Demange, gives us sufficient motives to expect great deeds in the future, since his first feature, “’71”, is a breathtaking political action thriller, skillfully shot, competently structured, and filled with creepy tense moments. The story, set in Dublin, 1971, follows the 20-year-old private soldier, Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell), member of a Derbyshire security squad assigned to patrol the rioting streets that host two enemy political factions during the time of ethno-nationalist conflicts known as ‘The Troubles’. During a turmoil involving the crowd, Hook is forced to run after a young boy who stole a gun from one of his squad mates. Separated from his unit, he gets caught by merciless separatists, managing to escape death in a miraculous way. Severely wound and marked to die by the radicals, he has no other choice than follow his intuitions and trust a few local strangers, to survive in the perilous narrow streets of the city. Demange reveals a tremendous ability to deal with a plot that leaves no ambiguities, creating a nightmarish adventure, which was carried out with confidence, stirring motion and objectivity. Its appalling images strike us with brutal actions and realistic scenarios, brought into existence by efficacious handheld camera movements that increase the chaotic atmosphere lived, as well as the fear and pain endured by the brave soldier impersonated by Jack O’Connell. This is the same O’Connell who, earlier this year, left me well impressed in “Starred Up”. This is a fantastic debut from Yann Demange who was granted with a prestigious special mention from the ecumenical jury at Berlin.

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