21 July 2004 | declan-9
Hey Mister, do you want chips with that?
Booker prize winner Roddy Doyle , who started life as a school teacher in a depressed neighbourhood in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, offers us a vivid yet humorous slice of life in Dublin at a pivotal time in contemporary Irish history. He tells this story from the perspective of down trodden families living in a depressed yet resilient neighbourhood. What is truly brilliant about this film is not just the hilarious storyline or the magical performances but how it captures the moment when Ireland as a nation got back on its feet and began to embrace Europe and world with renewed confidence. The story is set during the monumental moments of the European Football Championships of 1988, EURO'88 , when the Irish soccer team surprised Europe, and not least the Irish, with their success. It has been said that this event and the continued success of the Irish soccer team in Italia 90 sparked a renewed confidence within Ireland which greatly contributed to the success of the Irish economy in recent years, now known as the Celtic Tiger. The Barrytown trilogy written by Doyle has given us 3 memorable film adaptations in 'The Commitments'; 'The Snapper' and now this the final episode 'The Van'. Roddy Doyle went on to win the Booker prize for 'Paddy Clarke , ha, ha, ha' and is one of the foremost novelists active in Ireland today. His comedy and dialogue use the often thick Dublin working class dialect, which add to the lyrical nature of the scenes. Most of the characters are in turmoil due to their circumstances and the comedy lies in their posturing with each other in a dead-pan, black comedy.