Why Did I Watch It? Recommended by fatiekitz.
On the lively streets of Dublin, a half dozen lives intersect. There’s a crim on the lookout for his next score, a world weary cop who wants to be a documentary film star, a couple who have just broken up (but didn’t want to), a young woman with a half visible moustache, and a middle aged home maker whose husband has just left her. Their stories overlap, sometimes in multiple ways.
This zippy black comedy drama is an entertaining showcase for a bunch of talented stars (many of them rising at the time). The standout is Colin Farrell as the thief; he enters the movie by chatting a girl up and then headbutting her, so he can empty her till, instantly establishing both aspects of his character. He’s the likeable rogue, which you have seen before, but he carries it with the requisite charm and menace. A charismatic performance that marked him for bigger things.
Cillian Murphy is almost as good in a very different role. He plays a likeable sad sack, pining for the girlfriend he rashly broke up with after an argument. This leads him to a series of bad decisions, culminating in a team up with Farrell for a disastrous attempted kidnapping/robbery. Murphy is the everyman character, that anchors the shenanigans; an appealing performance that is relatable. I also enjoyed the dynamic he has with his best mate, played by David Wilmot, a nice guy whose loneliness leads them to a hilarious singles night at a chintzy nightclub. It is a small shame that Kelly McDonald, playing Murphy’s ex, is less well served by the script; kindof a nothing character, without much to do.
The film shows its influences. It is like an evolved version of 90s indie classics like ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Go’, with some early Guy Ritchie peppered in. While I found this a bit derivative at times, the film does have its own style. It has a more anarchic energy than these movies, the jittery editing giving it a pace that reflects the uncertainty of the characters, and where they are in their lives. ‘Intermission’ is a well chosen title. Each character is facing a break from regular service, before normal programming can resume; some of them handle this better than others, but all of them get to where they need to, by film’s end.
A funny, bawdy romp.