It’s 1847: an Irishman sings a homicide ballad about folks hero Colmán Sharkey, a peasant who shot useless his landlord. However the story that emerges on this robust atmospheric drama is that the killing didn’t go down like that. Set in the course of the potato famine, Arracht is in Gaelic with English subtitles (it was Eire’s international movie Oscar entry) and stars Dónall Ó Héalai as Connemara fisherman and farmer Colmán, who brews poteen on the aspect to commerce within the village. His character is unsatisfactorily written, to be sincere: too saintly by half, he gained’t contact a drop of his personal liquor and there are just a few too many scenes of him doting on his spouse and his child son.
The movie opens two years earlier than the ballad, firstly of the good famine. Colmán finds his potatoes rotting within the subject, troubled with potato blight. On the similar time his Anglo-Irish landlord (Michael McElhatton) is placing up the charges; Colmán decides to pay him a go to to purpose with him. Director Tomás Ó Súilleabháin performs out these scenes brilliantly: relatively than make the owner a merciless, easy-to-hate villain, he’s as a substitute monumentally clueless. Colmán warns him that half the village will probably be of their graves by spring. Nonsense, exclaims the owner, and in a let-them-eat-cake second explains that somewhat hardship will probably be good for the folks and can wean them off their dependency on potato crops.
After a bloodbath within the landlord’s home, Colmán goes on the run, hiding out in a cave for 2 years, the place he takes in a half-starved orphan woman. And right here Arracht begins to appear like a survival film, the wild wintry Galway shoreline fantastically shot by Kate McCullough. Ó Héalai dropped 4 stones for the movie and he appears to be like the half, scarily emaciated, cheeks hollowed out. However for me, these stretches of Colmán within the components, smoking fish and grinding seaweed into medication, took the ability and depth down a notch or two.