9 out of 10
THIS IS AN IRISH FILM
Release Date: 11th January 2013
Director: Lenny Abrahamson (Frank / Adam & Paul)
Cast: Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Sam Keeley, Gavin Drea, Fionn Walton, Patrick Gibson with Lorraine Pilkington and Lars Mikkelsen
Writer: Malcolm Campbell
Trailer: WHAT RICHARD DID
In our jobs as amateur film critics for Britpic its not very often, actually it’s barely ever, that are worth shouting about. Here we have an Irish movie that may just about be the best ‘conventional’ drama to come along in very long time. Jack Reynor (TRANSFORMERS 4) plays the eighteen year-old alpha male, Super Rich. As popular with the parents and teachers as he is with his peers at school, his world comes tumbling down around his ears one night. Disgusted by his druknen actions at an end of term party, he begins to see the lengths the people around him will go to maintain “his” good reputation and standing in the community.
Director Lenny Abrahamson gave us the thoughtful re-think of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot with his wonderful Dublin-set tragicomedy Adam and Paul, here he evolves into a serious contender for Ireland’s best living film director. The story is precision-perfect, taking a character that is uniformly dismissed as shallow and oppressive in other movies and questions the burden of their expectations. Rich is surrounded with girls that want to sleep with him, guys that want to be like him, he is king amongst school kids. On the cusp of adulthood he is thrust head long into a terrible situation. What Richard Did deals expertly with guilt and when he does eventually share his burden he isn’t set free, he finds himself trapped further by those as complicit as he is. Why let one incident ruin a whole life? But the incident itself is so despicable, Rich cannot live with it. It’s a heartbreaking movie and it puts the viewer in a strange position because we are also privy to Rich’s crime, so how do we feel about him getting away with it, or not?
As stated the performances are amazing across the board, from the leads down to the featured extras. This character study is bound to stay with viewers for a long time after the final credits roll as easy answers and ways of escape are ignored. It’s a very human film, one emboldened by a soothing yet sad score, immaculate production design, a dominant pale green and green colour scheme and crystal clear unfussy cinematography. It’s a journey that handles the subjects of guilt, expectation, community and the burden of complicity deftly. This film affirms the buzz that Jack Reynor will become an actor to watch, already cast opposite Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4, let’s hope he turns up in a few more like What Richard Did?
9 out of 10 – Thoroughly engrossing character study of a golden boy’s life coming tumbling down one boulder at a time. Possibly the best Irish film I’ve ever seen. Don’t miss it.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Jack Reynor: Sing Street, Macbeth (2015), Glassland, A Royal Night Out, Transformers 4, Delivery Man
- Roisin Murphy: Roadkill (2015)
- Sam Keely: AfterDeath, Monsters 2, This Is The Place
- Patrick Gibson: Cherry Tree, Gold
- Lorraine Pilkington: Monarch Of The Glen (TV), My Kingdom, Human Traffic, The Nephew, The Last Of The High Kings, The Miracle (1991)
- Lars Mikkelsen: Montana, Flame & Citron, The Killing (TV)