Saturday, March 26, 2011

One for the Irish: THE BOXER

I realize that St. Patrick's Day is over and all Irish celebration along with it. However, this month cannot pass into nothingness without my official ode to this (perhaps my favorite) movie.

Very few films take on the modern IRA issues in Northern Ireland and even fewer of them are desperately romantic. I have always been fascinated with the Irish Catholic/Protestant clash or more specifically those who still want home rule for Northern Ireland and those who want the British to remain their government. If you're at all interested or curious about the modern outcomes of this ancient feud, this is your flick.

It's the story of Danny Flynn, a man who has spent the last 14 years in prison for his involvement in an IRA attack when he was just a boy. He's done his time and has determined to rebuild his life without any further association with the IRA who he saw through in prison and blames for taking his youth. But it's not that easy. The IRA is on the Eve of peace talks with the British Government and some of the rebels don't feel that peace should ever exist between the two cultures. They resent Danny Flynn coming home, to their Catholic neighborhood and not pledging his loyalty again. Especially when he is clearly still in love with his child hood sweetheart and doesn't care that she is married to a prisoner of the cause. She's also the head of the IRA's daughter.

The characters in this movie are so astonishingly real and moving. They stay with you forever.

WARNING: The accent is difficult to understand the first time. I mean, I'm an avid anglo watcher and even I struggled at first. Also, there is a LOT of swearing in this movie. I mean, a lot!

But, having said that -- it is the most romantic, passionate, interesting, haunting movie I've seen in years. And it may be my favorite movie ever. Which I've never said before about anything.

Daniel Day Lewis, Emily Watson. The Boxer.