Movie Reviews: Redemption of a Rogue, Our Ladies and The Last Bus

Redemption of a Rogue Three stars In theaters now; Certificate 16

prodigal son returns to the small Irish town he left in shame. He wants to redeem himself before committing suicide. It doesn’t sound like a premise for a comedy, but Philip Doherty’s feature debut, which he wrote and directed, is full of humor of all kinds.

Shortly after Jimmy (Aaron Monaghan) returns to Cavan, his father passes away. A biblical rain begins to fall on the city, and according to the will of the father, Jimmy and his brother Damien (Kieran Roche) cannot organize the funeral until they stop. But, for weeks, the rain has continued to fall.

The film is interesting on the themes of regret and perception. As the line between fantasy and reality blurs, we wonder just how much of an outcast Jimmy really is, and how much he imagines.

There’s a lot more going on and the film is full of ideas. He’s also full of humor, from common jokes to visual gags. However, a premise like this is already full of dark humor and doesn’t need a lot of embellishment. In the end, it felt like throwing all the fun into the movie to see what stuck. And while that hasn’t fully worked out for me, I can’t wait to see what Doherty does next.

our ladies
Two stars
In theaters now; Certificate 16

Party alert. our ladies, a tale about the sexual arousal of a teenage girl, was generally very well received. It’s debauchery fun, and there is certainly some laughter.

However, I have a problem with this story told by men. It is directed by a man from a screenplay by a man, based on a novel by a man. In other words, I have brothers, a son, and went to school with boys, but I would never pretend to understand adolescent male sexuality from their perspective.

The plot of our ladies Is simple. Five friends await the choir’s trip from their school to Edinburgh. Their hope is that there will be plenty of opportunities for sex. Each girl is a familiar archetype and has a personal bow. For example, recently recovered from leukemia, Orla (Tallulah Greive) is on a mission to lose her virginity.

Michael Caton-Jones’ film features an idealized version of sex-crazed schoolgirls. Apparently the only possible consequence is pregnancy. The threat of sexual assault that anyone who has actually been a (teenage girl) so horribly takes for granted, is utterly absent. Even when older men try to get schoolgirls drunk, it is presented as pure hilarity. But this representation of the male gaze made me uncomfortable.

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The last bus
Three stars
In theaters now; 12A certificate

The last bus also starts in Scotland, but it couldn’t be more different from our ladies. The protagonist is a very old man and there is a total lack of raunchy. Giles McKinnonGillies MacKinnon (who did The Playboys in Ireland in 1992) stages a shameless moving story, a kind of road trip, in the past.

In the Scottish town of John o ‘Groats, Tom (Timothy Spall) is recently in mourning. As a young couple, he and his wife, Mary (Phyllis Logan), traveled by bus of their life to Land’s End to start a new one in Scotland. Now that Mary is dead, Tom decides to make the return trip to Land’s End. It’s a trip he is determined to take by bus.

Through flashbacks, we learn about the couple’s story and come to understand Tom’s haste to get to the other end of Britain. The film includes the many people he meets on his journey – some very nice, some not so. These people are often more cartoonish than character, and the situations in which Tom meets them are more often made up. Sometimes, too, Spall overreacts in unusual ways. However, it is a sweet and bittersweet watch.

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