’71 is truly a gem of a film. It is one of those pieces of brilliance that is sometimes lost in the flurry of films that our hitting the screens these days. It was released almost a year ago in Britain and hit the US earlier this year. The prospect of not experiencing this film did frighten me, but well I ended up watching it.
’71 is an intense thriller set in the backdrop of 1971 Ireland, when “The Troubles” were in their early years. It follows the same old “man left behind enemy lines” story, but is infused with great passion and thus makes its own mark.
The film has been crafted carefully and intricately by the first-time director, Yann Demange. Gregory Burke’s wonderful screenplay further elevates the film by not making it too one-sided and focusing aptly on both our protagonist and the Nationalist supporters. This screenplay is what prevents the film from turning into just your average action movie, in place of the masterful thriller that it is.
Jack O’Connell shows that he is one to be on the watch out for by delivering an immensely powerful performance, carrying the film on his shoulders. Among the numerous supporting actors, the ones who truly stood out were Sean Harris, Killian Scott, Martin McCann and Barry Keoghan.
The one aspect of the film that stood out for me in this film was its cinematography. Tat Radcliffe magnificently captures the film with intense closeups that allow the viewer to be immersed into the emotion of the moment and there is also that chase scene which is simply a treat for the eyes. Chris Wyatt’s masterful editing also contributes towards making this movie the nail-biting, edge of the seat thriller that it is. David Holmes’ musical score perfectly syncs in with the emotions flowing in the film, enhancing the power of the film itself.
All in all, ’71 is beauty of a film and definitely deserves a watch.