Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

Like Jeremy just said, I am not quite sure how to go about this blog so I will just comment on a few things. The first thing I would like to say about this movie is how terribly sad it is, which in effect makes it much more touching and realistic. While doing my research on the British occupation of Ireland, I came across numerous stories and accounts of the atrocities committed by both sides. This movie depicted some of those atrocities, whether it was Teddy’s torture and the subsequent punishment or the way that Damien and his followers killed the child traitor who had turned them in. The movie was filled with stark portrayals of the violence and chaos that were part of everyday life in Ireland in the early 20th century.

From the very beginning of the movie, I felt compelled to watch and see the story of these two brothers. This seems like a simple and basic statement but what I mean is that all too often war movies are not compelling and realistic. I often find myself terribly bothered by my lack of caring for the characters in war movies. Maybe it is because I cannot relate to the characters or because I do not feel like I am watching a realistic movie. But more often than not, I find myself bored and unmoved by war movies. This movie, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. From the on set of the movie, I felt like I was there, in Ireland. The sweeping scenery and breathtaking backgrounds made me feel as though I had been to Ireland. I have never been to Ireland but I can at least say I can imagine what it looks like. I cared about Teddy and Damien. I cared about their struggle and plight. I was moved by their speeches inside the court room and I suffered along with them in their fights. And I understood both of their opinions and decisions before the deeply disturbing end to the movie.

The ending to this movie was so profound and disheartening that it is difficult to describe. I felt like I was watching a real piece of art. The dialogue in the scene was so moving and touching I honestly thought that Teddy would retract his decision to kill his brother. It is difficult to express the scene in words because of the nature of the scene. Trying to express the pain and anguish that is visible in Damien and Teddy’s face is next to impossible. These two brothers love each other and their country and it appears as though the love of their country out weighs the love they have for each other. History is rife with occurrences of brothers fighting or believing in different things. This was one of the most powerful endings to any movie I had ever seen.


Roger Market said...

Yes, those final moments are breathtaking. The acting in those scenes is astounding, and it seems like you'll agree that the film deserved to win the award that it won at Cannes Film Festival (the Palme D'Or). Cillian Murphy (Damien), Padraic Delaney (Teddy), and Orla Fitzgerald (Sinead) are particularly powerful in this movie, especially at the end. I feel like I am there, when I watch it; I feel like part of the family, and as such, I feel their pain. Sinead's reaction at the end is so real and unbridled, I forget I am watching a movie; I forget these are fictional characters. Has anyone found out if any of the characters were based on real people and events?

Roger Market said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I used to get the information about the award as well as the actors' names.