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Young Belfastian Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) admits that he was in London at the time of the incident. He also admits that he is not a model citizen, having committed a petty robbery while in London. He does however profess his innocence when it comes to the bombing of the Guildford Pub in London in 1974, the event which killed several people inside. A self-professed non-political person, he and his three co-accused, dubbed the Guildford Four, are thought to be provisional members of the I.R.A. Their self-professed innocence is despite each having signed a statement of guilt which they claim were signed under duress. Their case includes having provable alibis for the time frame of the bombing. And eventually, Joe McAndrew (Don Baker), a known I.R.A. member, admits to the bombing. Dubbed the Maguire Seven, seven others, primarily members of Gerry's extended family including his father Giuseppe (Pete Postlethwaite), are accused of being accessories to the bombing. Following on the work initiated by Giuseppe, Gerry works on a campaign to prove their collective innocence, this work with the assistance of compassionate lawyer Gareth Peirce (Dame Emma Thompson). As Gareth works on this campaign, she is faced with obstacle after obstacle placed by Robert Dixon (Corin Redgrave), who led the initial investigation and questioning of the four accused on behalf of the Police. —Huggo
In the Name of the Father and the Truth
Jim Sheridan's astonishingly fantastic 'In the Name of the Father' tells the brutally direct story of a wrongfully accused family who are tortured into making a false confession and imprisoned by the British justice system. Sheridan has a way of telling his stories where he gets straight to the point and does not fear to show the reality of the situation while keeping us viewers at the edge of our seats. The film is based on Gerry Conlan's autobiography where Daniel Day-Lewis plays the central character. Sheridan effectively portrays Gerry and Giuseppe's struggle and fight against injustice and his portrayal of the corrupt British justice system is frightening. Just the idea that people could get away with such things in a country like the UK is chilling and Sheridan skillfully brings that across on screen. Terry George's brilliant screenplay with rich characters and solid dialogues forms a good backbone for the film. I also liked how the humour was infused in a modest dose as not to interfere with the intensity of the story. There are some excellent performances. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a suitably explosive performance as he breathes fire into the role while Pete Postlethwaite is sublime and equally outstanding as Gerry's father, Giuseppe. Though father and son do have issues to fight over, it is Giuseppe who is Gerry's conscience and Postlethwaite's heartbreaking act really touches the heart. Emma Thompson holds her own and she is simply excellent. The rest of the cast do a superb job (watch out for Tom Wilkinson in a bit role). The soundtrack fits the mood of the film and the cinematography is good, especially in the prison sequences, where it creates that feeling of claustrophobia which gets stronger after Gerry is alone in his cell. I have liked all of Sheridan's ' films that I have seen so far and 'In The Name Of The Father' is another remarkable film from this fine director. It is a difficult movie to watch due to some disturbing themes and scenes (though most of them are rather suggestive it is the idea behind that sends chills down the spine) but it is definitely worth watching.
- Nov 14, 2008
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