MOVIE REVIEW: The Drummer and The Keeper

Comedy Drama set in Ireland.  A Young drummer is suffering from bi-polar disorder and also likes to set things on fire.  His condition makes his drumming fantastic, but then the behaviour is making him exceptionally hard to work with.  When he’s forced to seek help, in the form of medication, and therapy he makes a friend in a young man in an institution who has Asperger’s.  The medication is making The Drummer more socially responsible but hurts his talent, while the friendship makes him see outside himself.

I don’t know what is in the Irish water lately but those film makers that are drinking it are doing a great job.  We seem to have a great talent for taking on social issues, as with Sanctuary earlier this year, The Drummer and The Keeper takes on some very difficult issues in a way that makes you smile, cry, and cheer for the Underdogs.

I can’t tell you too much about this film, just that it’s worth your time, your cash, and your love.  I’ve been here at Comic Crusaders now for two years and you should just take me at my word.  No?  Fine I’ll write some more.  The film is far from perfect, I was up all last night debating with myself in the mirror about the grade.  It’s a little bit clunky in places.  The two performances from the Drummer and the Keeper are just outstanding to the point that the flaws that are present can be wrapped up and placed to one side.  Dermot Murphy plays ‘The Drummer’ haunted by his Mother’s suicide and suffering from bi-polar with a hint of pyromania and from the first moments that we meet him in the film I kept thinking that he was a young Bob Geldof.  His performance is this manic subtlety that you don’t see in mainstream movies that much.  The performance that blows every other away though is ‘The Keeper’ Jacob McCarthy.  This young man gives a Dustin Hoffman level performance as a Goal Keeper obsessed Asperger’s boy who befriends the Drummer.

The way that the film delves into the worlds of both The Drummer and The Keeper and joins them together is really masterful storytelling.  You want the Drummer to find the balance between his therapies and his talent, and you want the Keeper to find his happiness and gain the knowledge of the real world.  The reality of the care givers for both these men and their family and friends give the story some weight.  That little package of flaws though keeps coming back during the film.  Some of the supporting cast are just paper cut outs of background characters, and there is one who you just want to punch in the face every time you see him.

These flaws aside, I can’t fault the performances of the two main leads, but the thing that stopped me giving this the four out of five is something that it submitted to that Sanctuary stood against.  The Drummer and The Keeper gives in to the need for the feel good ending, it steps away from reality, and that took it down.  The need for the Happy Ever After should have been fought against, Sanctuary did this and came out as one of my movies of the year.  I have to say that The Drummer and The Keeper was almost there, so close, but no cigar.  That aside I’d watch it time and time again,

Director: Nick Kelly
Writer: Nick Kelly
Stars: Niamh AlgarPeter CoonanPhelim Drew & More…

See full cast & crew

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