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Michael Inside


Stars: Dafhyd Flynn, Lalor Roddy, Moe Dunford, Robbie Walsh, Hazel Doupe, John Burke

Director: Frank Berry

Mournful music indicates that we are not in for a good time with this well-made, impeccably acted but truly depressing Irish film. Impact rather than entertainment is the director's objective as we meet Michael McCrea (Flynn). Still studying with a help group at 18, with a view to entering social care, Michael is caught holding drugs for a friend's aggressive older brother (Burke) and, on probation after a conviction for being caught in a stolen car, is jailed for three months.

Once inside, Michael soon falls foul of the block bully, but jail kingpin David (Dunford) encourages him to fight back, and we see Michael's violent side, as he beats his tormentor to a pulp. Now he's fallen in with really bad company and he finds himself forced to 'hold' various illegal items for his new 'friend'.

Meanwhile, Michael's grandad (his father is also in jail), played by Roddy, is in the grip of the men Michael held the drugs for, as they demand 2,000 euros to compensate them for their loss. Freedom eventually beckons for the young offender, but, given Michael's temperament, will it help?

Well shot and more than competently acted, the film's a little slow and we do feel that the director is trying to appeal to legal authorities rather than a general audience. Getting the balance right would have helped this angry movie quite a bit.

David Quinlan

Ireland 2017. UK Distributor: Wildcard Distribution. Colour (unspecified).
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 13 Sep 2018