Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson are Son and Father in this family drama. A Northern England Gypsy family are living outside the law and the son is trying to break free from the grip of his overpowering Father. Chad Cutler (Fassbender) is stuck in the middle between the Father who cherishes all the traditions of their way of life, and the Wife and children he wants a better life with, and it looks as though something has to give soon.
For most people the most they know about the Gypsy way of life has been learned through those programs about the brides and the big dresses on TV. Here in Ireland we call them Travellers, and there are some pretty horrible names too, but lets keep this life. For my own part I know that the majority of the Travellers are just hard-working, God-fearing, close-knit community people who try their best to live in peace. I’m going to tell you that before you go in to see this film that some of the dialogue, if you are not used to this sort of speech, is pretty hard to hear. There are moments when you’re going to recall last years The BFG movie too, as Fassbender and Gleeson have pretty strange ways of talking.
The film is about a Father and Son trying to cope with their traditions in the modern World. These particular set of Travellers have decided to live outside the realm of the law, and will strike back against the Police when they finally catch up to them. Fassbender’s character is tiring of the life that he’s leading and the constant pressure from his Wife to find a better settlement for their family. Gleeson can’t see that there would be a better life and tradition has a hold of him. They make their money by stealing from houses and live a free life in the country side. There are a strange bunch of fellow Travellers around them, while the Police just want to put Fassbender away for any crime to reduce their headache.
The thing that I love about this film is that it doesn’t do what I wanted it to do, it didn’t make the pressure cooker of tension explode. That may sound like a strange thing to say because I love when tension spills over and everyone gets splattered, in entertainment and my personal life, I’m at that age where tossing a grenade into a room and waiting for the fallout to happen is part of my little joys. But here the Director and Writer make sure that you are kept in this strange flux of what could happen should someone over react. There are times when you are brought to the brink of pushing every button that the characters have, and that one bad day we all are away from doing something that we cannot walk back from. But we’re kept there. We don’t go over that line, and that is a brave move to make.
Every member of the cast prove that there are no small parts, each one adds something to the flow of the film that adds a unique flavour to the story. Fassbender and Gleeson, who had a Son/Father thing going on during Assassins Creed redeem themselves from that fiasco with the best performance that they’ve given in many a year. They have this uneasy chemistry like they are a true Father and Son, they’re not, I’ve had the blood work done on them to check. Sean Harris delivers the oddball performance that we all know that he’s capable of in a rather strange manner, but it’s a great role for him. Playing Fassbenders wife Kelly is Lyndsey Marshal and you can feel the urge from her character to break away from this group and yet the love of the life that she leads with Chad and their children.
A family drama with the right tone, a little hard to understand the accents at times, plenty of gripping moments and action, and perfectly performed. This is a great drama and well worth your time.
Director: Adam Smith
Writer: Alastair Siddons
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal