16 March 2020 | Pairic
Savage Gangster Film
Calm With Horses: Savage gangster film set in a small seaside town. Cosmo Jarvis is Arm, a punch-drunk ex-boxer who is none too bright but is literally the strong arm of the Devers crime family, big fish in a small pond. He is used by his friend Dympna Devers (Barry Keoghan) who withholds money due to him and feeds him cocaine. Dympna tries to turn Arm against Ursula (Lisa Algar) who is the mother of Arm's son, Jack. Jack has special needs but loves horses and Ursula needs money to enroll him in a new school. Dympna's uncles Hector (David Wilmot) and Paudie (Ned Dennehy) think that he hasn't gone far enough in punishing someone who has crossed the family and demand that the culprit be killed. This sets off a train of events which can only have a tragic outcome.
A dark narrative of insular small town/rural gangsters, enforcing their law on their patch. Those who owe debts are beaten without mercy as a warning to others. Dympna strives to establish himself as a hard man, to live up to his uncles' expectations, realising he is being blooded. Hector is a sociopath, casually issuing death sentences but he's the nice guy; Paudie will hang you by the heels and butcher you like a pig. Arm is the tragic figure, who wants to be with his son and Ursula but he is caught up in a spiral of violence. Some really shocking scenes in this film so be warned. Working from a script by Joe Murtagh, Director Nick Rowland delivers a powerful tale of tragedy and torment. 8/10.