WHAT RICHARD DID: THE DVD REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

I actually saw this one last June for the , the only film I got into the city to view and I loved it, thought it was a brilliantly made teenage drama film. It made my top 20 films for 2013 and I even bought a copy from the UK on Blu Ray. It is superbly acted and the lead, , appears to have made it since that film appearing in Delivery Man and has one of the lead roles in Transformers: The Age of Extinction – he truly deserves it for this breakout role. But I am babbling, read my review below. But I have to add, the amazing friends of ours at Madman have given us 5X copies of the film on DVD to giveaway. This is a great win and I am so glad it is getting a DVD release, it deserved a cinema release besides the SFF so everyone can see it.

 

WHAT RICHARD DID - superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn
WHAT RICHARD DID – superb reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn

 

REVIEW BY JK FROM MAY 2013

Believe it or not I actually got to the Sydney Film Festival myself, reviewing a bucketload of films from home, trying to keep up with editing and posting all of Andrew’s and living in Terrigal made it quite difficult to get into Sydney for some festival viewings but I was determined to see at least one of them in a cinema and I did a quick peruse, wanted a film that was not a mainstream one, was not a docco as I watched heaps of them from home and took my interest, and this won. And my god I am stoked this was the one I chose, WHAT RICHARD DID is one of the best films I have seen this year so far, it is Irish, it is well told, it has a wickedly good cast and it made me think, a lot. WIN WIN.

WHAT RICHARD DID is an Irish film directed by  and written by Malcolm Campbell. The film is loosely based on Kevin Power’s Bad Day in Blackrock, a “fictionalised” story based on the assault on Brian Murphy outside the Burlington Hotel in Dublin in 2000. It won the best Irish film of the year award at the 10th Irish Film & Television Awards and was the most commercially successful Irish film of 2012. It has screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival and was selected to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in April 2013. It then moved on to screen just now at the SFF. It is also available on DVD in Europe and on demand for download. The book received abundant criticism for fictionalising a real life story and making it so similar it may well have been a retelling of the actual event, that being said it received critical acclaim and this has flowed through to the film. Why? The story is brilliant with strong themes and the acting I consider bordering on masterpiece.

 

WHAT RICHARD DID - superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn
WHAT RICHARD DID – superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn

 

The story rings true for many youths the world over and is so real it could have been me in my late teens in this exact same position – this is excluding the life of privilege part :). Richard Karlsen is what you would consider the perfect boy, good family, incredible manners and demeanour, mature beyond his years, kind to younger kids, a Rugby player, a team player, damn sexy, I can totally go on but you get my point – he is a keeper that you take home to meet your parents because even they will love him. His world is set for near perfection and will be easy, but like most teenage boys, alcohol and a girl will ruin you hahaha – ok – maybe a bit harsh but close, alcohol and jealousy over a girl can make you do some ridiculous things and in one moment of blind rage you could do something you never meant or would have dreamed of doing but it is a moment of blind rage where rationality and morales are sidelined due to blood pouring into your head as your body prepares for battle. What if this one mistake was kicking a guy in the face. That one kick could cost you your entire life and it is something you will have to remember and carry the burden of for the rest of your life, the sad part is that this pales in comparison to the guy you kicked, he is dead and his family have to live without him for the rest of their lives.

 

WHAT RICHARD DID - superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn
WHAT RICHARD DID – superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn

 

In this life of privilege, although not ridiculous, privilege it appears this entire incident is more of an inconvenience and that is the sad part of the film, it is like they crashed the parents car and are now working out how to avoid being busted for it. But inconvenience aside, the act itself and knowing what you did will tear through your moral fibre and eat you alive. And so it is as we see Richard unravel from the perfect and confident young man to the wrecked and distraught man. It is a battle of comfort versus the right thing to do. Director Lenny Abrahamson captures everything including this emotional turmoil with a master stroke. It shows a two part film where the first half is based on the easy life of fun times and showing how amazing Richard and his life is and then deconstructing it bit by bit to a climax so powerful it borders on scary. Jack Reynor’s performance as Richard is phenomenal, it goes down as a performance nearly as good as DiCaprio in Basketball Diaries. Reynor is on my radar since this performance and mark my words people – you will know his name soon enough, even Michael Bay thought the same way and has cast him in the upcoming Transformers film alongside Wahlberg. The uncanny thing about Reynor, he is a complete doppelgänger for Jesse Spencer from House, Neighbours and Chicago Fire, everything about him is identical, excluding the accent and age. They should totally play brothers at some stage.

 

WHAT RICHARD DID - superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn
WHAT RICHARD DID – superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn

 

The rest of the cast are all admirable and strong in their roles but this film is all Richard/ Reynor, the other characters he performs with pale in comparison to the inner turmoil and battle for his own soul that he goes through. There is one exception to this, one performance that matches that of Reynor and nearly steals the show, it is a much smaller role, but Lars Mikkelsen as Richard’s father, Peter is just breathtaking to watch. He nailed everything and took on the pain of his own son and battled a deeper internal battle, what do you do in this situation? Send your child away, into hiding? Make them confess? Let them make their own decisions? But then how do you do that in the face of another parent similar to yourself who has lost their child? You get eaten away on the inside. The range and emotional acting of Mikkelsen is one of the best supporting performances I have ever seen.

 

WHAT RICHARD DID - superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn
WHAT RICHARD DID – superb Irish film reviewed for Sydney Film Festival on Salty Popcorn

 

Like a lot of art house films the ending to this film arrives and unlike Hollywood films, it does not give you closure, it does not tell you what happens, I was expecting one thing and got another and this is half the reason I loved this film so much, when you review close on 100 US films a year you kind of get brainwashed into the US way of making films, and this breaks those rules and uses skill to give you something you must stretch the brain muscle to decide what you think the ending would or should be. The problem is the ending, for me, leant towards something that would make me lose respect for Richard, someone I spent the majority of the film supporting, but this is true of people, they will never do what you expect them to do, they have their own demons and must face them the way they see fit. I could debate this ending for hours, if you have seen it write to me 🙂 While this film is not the true story, I Googled the true story and am adopting that ending, which is not fireworks and fairy floss, another reason I love this film. When it gets a release care of Madman, I urge you to see it, not for the brilliant story, the amazing acting, the powerful emotion of it all, no… see it so we can speak about it together as I know no one that has seen it 🙂

WHAT RICHARD DID has a great WEBSITE, a fine FACEBOOK and can be stalked or praised on TWITTER.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT to win one of the 5x DVDs of WHAT RICHARD DID you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite teenage drama film and why?  

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jkdigitaldesigns@gmail.com telling me you don’t have social media 

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.