Language: English, Irish Gaelic
Country: UK, Ireland
Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Steve McQueen
Music: Leo Abrahams, David Holmes
Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt
I had been intrigued to watch this internationally acclaimed debut of Steve McQueen for quite a long time, my hesitation was self-evident (it seemed that the hunger strike and its political inclination had been pushing me back), not until yesterday my zeal to being a serious film critic finally won over my inward unwillingness.
So after watching it, my first response is that it’s a film for cinephiles, it is visually stunning, the myriads of techniques are mind-blowing, the film also noted for a bundle of ingenious long-shots, most significantly is a tug-of-war conversation between Bobby Sands and the priest (a showy yet memorable performance by the two actors, a budding Michael Fassbender confronting the Irish veteran Liam Cunningham). Rookie director Steve McQueen economically spent every penny to showcase his talent in every possible respect, the visual art is overwhelmingly redundant within a rather thin narrative, in spite of the fact that the entire film runs only 96 minutes.
Mr. Fassbender dedicated another horridly traumatic weight-lost performance which vividly reminds me of what Christian Bale did in THE MACHINIST (2004), this time the effect is even more haunting and disturbing because of its biographic basis, which I deem is more a manifest to an utter allegiance to cinema art than a means of acting. I think Michael is right on his path to become the next big thing globally (checking his filmography and the upcoming projects, honestly speaking, he could go much far than Mr. Bale had achieved in my humble opinion).
The ethos aside, I am totally ignorant of the film’s historical backdrops, the film efficaciously indicates the weighty potential from the director himself, and I am waiting with pleasure to watch his next work SHAME (2011), starring Mr. Fassbender for a second round and Carey Mulligan, which theoretically will proffer an escalating eminence for the director and his team.