Critic Consensus: Unflinching, uncompromising, vivid and vital, Steve McQueen's challenging debut is not for the faint hearted, but it's still a richly rewarding retelling of troubled times.
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as Bobby Sands
as Father Moran
as Ray Lohan
as Ray's Mother
as Prison Guard
as Gerry's Girlfriend
as Mrs. Lohan
as The Governor
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Critic Reviews for Hunger
Midway through the movie there's an epic 24-minute scene...in the claustrophobic cell block the protesters have already internalized their cause so deeply that the world of words seems distant and inconsequential.
There is no attempt to set Sands up as a great martyr, no Jesus pose or sentimental music to manipulate emotions. Hunger is interested in none of this. Instead, [McQueen] lets the bodies that sacrificed themselves tell the story they created.
The stylistic palette of McQueen's picture, and its grasp of cinematic vocabulary, elevate the film to a purely visceral realm, so that it seems to bypass your eyes and ears and go straight for your nerve endings.
Mr. Sands's story loosely serves as a framework that joins together a series of filmic gallery installations that graphically explore the fragility of the human body.
McQueen thus succeeds in manufacturing a palpable intensity (some of it very difficult to watch), but retreats into individual subjectivity when it might do better to open out into the larger political arena.
Audience Reviews for Hunger
McQueen's debut is gripping and intense, with some amazing long takes and a disturbing story that depicts the horrendous impact of a hunger strike on the human body, even though I don't like how the plot is suddenly deviated from Davey Gillen to Bobby Sands.
I have never seen such a brutal, gut-wrenching prison film in my life! Complex emotionally and philosophically, the tensions never let up. Fassbender's commitment to the role is nothing short of astounding. The inhumanity and control of McQueen's first film towers above that of even his Oscar award winning "12 Years A Slave". If you're looking for raw, honest but brutal reality, this is a film for you.
To me, the whole film boils down to the long conversation, between Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) and Father Moran (Liam Cunningham), a scene that takes up about a quarter of the movie but keeps you riveted throughout. Much uglier depiction of the prison conditions for Irish Republicans than, say, In the Name of the Father, and in my opinion, a much less sympathetic film, too - McQueen's work does a lot more documenting than inspiring and the work hits pretty hard, in all.
|Father Dominic Moran:||The Brits have been fucking up everything for centuries.|
|The Governor:||There is no such thing as political murder, political bombing, political violence. There is only criminal murder, criminal bombing, and criminal violence. There will be no political status.|
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