I Went Down Reviews
This is a comedy crime, thing, set in midlands Ireland, starring Brendan Gleeson (of Harry Potter and 'in Bruges' fame.) It was made in the mid-nineties.
Its a departure from the typical Irish films of the time in that it doesn't make any attempt to be overtly 'Oirish' or try to bound itself up in some typical heavyhanded sense of Irish identity. its just a straightforward crime comedy thing, made wherever it was made.
The film is also different from the Irish homegrown films of the period in that its not total sh*t. Its pretty sophisticated actually.
I Went Down is noticeably well written and acted, with the director bringing a nicely judged tone to the piece that is never too loud in its pretensions (you can sense a sliver of the hip tarantino-esque crime movies of the mid 90s permeating its vision.) Unfortunately the film is a bit too sparse for its own good.
Its actually a strange experience, as you enjoy the company of these characters (particularly Brendan Gleeson's Bubbles, who comes out with some great lines) but you also get kinda bored after a while.
So you finish an 18 month stint in the big house, come out and have to deal with the reality of your girlfriend in a relationship with one of your friends. To make matters worse, that friend is about to have his hand hammered to death and what do you do? You intervene like the good friend that you are. Unfortunately that doesn't do you no good. Because one of the hoods that you did harm to when saving your friend happen to be related to a mob boss named Mr. French.
Mr. French doesn't like you which is why he's tasked you with carrying on your friends debt. In order to work it off, Mr. French assigns you to go with a mobster named Bunny Kelly to pick up an associate named Frank Grogan who holding some money for Mr. French. The task at hand seems to be easy, but you do not know Bunny Kelly.
Bunny Kelly has the look of an Irish Elvis. His mutton chops are fucked up as is his persona. He's funny about cars and getting caught and one time while in the big house he may have given a bloke a blowjob (I guess that explains the title). Paranoid? Yeah he is a little bit. He even goes as far to not trust Frank. You see, once Frank has been found and brought along on the road trip back, Frank goes on about the money not being the reason as to why Mr. French wants him brought back. It's really because Frank has been fucking Mr. French's wife. The problem is whether or not to believe Frank when he says things like this and Bunny is a simple man. However, you aren't simple and want to fuck things up by helping Frank. Bunny only wants him dumped (dropped off) and that be it.
So, you help botch the job of Frank's head getting blown off and with Frank looking to buy you out with the help of Bunny you might as well say that the days of Mr. French are soon to be over thanks to Frank. This wasn't as dark as I thought It'd be, but the characters are fully fleshed out and the direction was your typical indie film slice of life. Brendan Gleeson gives a great performance as usual and was pretty funny at times.
Most notably from Brendan Gleeson as Bunny who is an absolute delight and shows just how good an actor Glesson is.
The plot is fairly straightforward as the 2 hapless debtors pick up a one time ex colleague of a local heavy.
What makes the film fly is athe wonderful Irish Humour and some excellent set piece moments including a stand off in a peat bog and a excellent final mexican standoff.
All the performers in the film are great ,and this is one film which really does deserve to be more widely known,and is a thousand times better tan some Guy Ritchie wannabe movies out there.
Bunny Kelly is the man...