I recently went to The Mermaid in Bray with my mum and sis to see the box office smash Cavalry starring Irish legendary actor Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle. The theatre is a lovely little theatre. Very intimate and cosy. My mum has always been a huge Brendan Gleeson fan and Gleeson never disappoints in his various diverse roles in cinema and this particular role was no exception to that rule as he played the kind priest who is on the verge of paying for the sins of the bad priests in the Church.
The writing by John Michael McDonagh was really superb. If you live in Ireland you see so many films where people have the same respect as years ago for the Church and that simply isn’t an authentic reflection of everyone in Irish society nowadays. What McDonagh done superbly (and rather bravely really) was to write the various different reactions to the Church and priests from people who have faith to people who despise the Church and the views of everyone inbetween. The characters are so well-rounded, even the more minor characters in the film and the movie really is a bit of a masterpiece. It shows the complexity of people and how not everybody is as black-and-white as they appear. You get worried when there is the level of hype which surrounds a movie like the hype surrounding Cavalry but it definitely lives up to it’s hype. The scenery of Sligo also looks absolutely beautiful throughout the movie and Patrick Cassidy’s music is very emotive. I also must mention the scene with Brendan and his gorgeous son Domhnall Gleeson when the priest goes in to see Domhnall’s character serial killer and cannibalist Freddie Joyce. They play it really well. It was a bit surreal but they played it really well.
My personal favourite characters were Milo Herlihy played by Love/Hate’s Killian Scott, Leo played by Owen Sharpe and of course Bruno the dog. Done in a comedy way, the character of Milo’s shyness and fear of not finding someone is played out. It is a way a lot of people feel but isn’t always addressed in film. Leo just makes me laugh. He is really brash and funny but an interesting element which is touched upon through his face when talking to the priest while playing pool is that he may not be as happy as he pretends which is true of a lot of people who pretend that everything is Ok all the time. Then there’s Bruno who is just such a sweetheart. I absolutely love dogs and he’s such a dote and so loyal to Father James. I love him! 🙂
The film is a stunning piece of writing with many characters you can identify with or if not many you know someone like while Brendan Gleeson takes on the protagonist with gusto and gives an amazing performance proving why he has been at the top of his game in the acting world for so long. The rest of the cast are also amazing in their various roles as well whether they are playing a major part or a smaller role in the production. This movie proves that Irish acting, writing and film in general is alive and well and ready to take on anyone at their craft.