30 September 2007 | thinker1691
" You've won, Mrs. Nugent, Joe is gone forever "
During the 1960's people were fearful of losing their world. What with the Cuban Missle Crises and the threat of Nuclear Winter, it's little wonder many hid in prayerful disillusion. For two young Irish boys, something loomed closer. Their lives encompassed their town, their family and their friendship. The first is Joe Purcell (Alan Boyle) a typical Irish boy out to enjoy his youth. The second is his best and closest friend named Francis Brady (Eamonn Owens) who becomes the unlikely hero in the movie, "The Butcher Boy." To Joe, friendship is a temporary bond which enhances life with laughter, pranks and boyhood imagination. But to Francis Brady, friendship is permanent and indelible which nothing on the planet, including Atomic fire, can separate. Enter, the boy's Nemesis, the town gossip and constant irritation to their bond. Mrs. Nugent, (Fiona Shaw) sees the boys as lowly delinquents, petty trouble makers, vicious bullies and future criminals. During the escalating conflict, the audience watches as Francis loses many of the people he loves. Eventually, Mrs. Nugent causes him to lose his best friend. Vengefully, Francis marks her for ultimate punishment. Audiences must decided the boy's reason for his erratic behavior. Was it his drunken father's (Stephen Rea) physical abuse, his mother's suicidal tendencies, incarceration at reform school, becoming a victim of sexual abuse by Father Sullivan (Milo O'Shea), subsequent shock treatments, increasing mental delusions of space aliens or iconic religious figures. It's little wonder Francsis commits the ultimate act of revenge. This is an honest, straight forward movie, which depicts the inner workings of a fragile but psychotic boy in crises. Many people allow maturity to transform them into adults, but some refuse, paying the inevitable price for doing so. ****