Tuesday 24 April 2018

Michael Inside 5 star movie review: 'Stellar Irish film-making'

5 stars

Dafhyd Flynn in Michael Inside.
Dafhyd Flynn in Michael Inside.
Ex-cell-ent: Dafhyd Flynn stars in Michael Inside

Chris Wasser

DAFHYD Flynn is Michael McCrea, an 18-year-old Dubliner who lives with his grandfather, Francis (Lalor Roddy). Michael doesn’t keep the best company.

One day, a friend asks him to hide a bag of drugs for his brother. Michael stashes the bag in his bedroom. The following morning, the gardai come knocking, and Michael is caught and arrested for possession. Things aren’t looking good, and the young fella is eventually sentenced to three months in prison.

Michael is afraid. Francis warns Michael that he’ll have to toughen up, but he, too, is terrified. Once inside, Michael befriends a violent and volatile inmate named David (Moe Dunford), but this is no ordinary friendship.

David will look out for Michael, but there is no such thing as a free favour in prison.

Meanwhile, on the outside, Francis is paid a visit by the gangsters whose drugs Michael was caught with. Debts are owed. Threats are made. This is not going to end well.

Irish star Moe Dunford talks Michael Inside, bidding farewell to Vikings and 'finally feeling useful on set' 

Written and directed by Frank Berry (I Used to Live Here), Michael Inside isn’t just another prison feature. It is a film about class. It is a film that goes out of its way to present a raw and authentic portrayal of a very real problem. It is a film that is every bit as powerful as you’ve heard. It’s well researched. It is remarkably well shot. It packs one hell of a punch.

A muscular Moe Dunford gets his hands dirty with a role that is as intense as the material requires. He has never been better. Lalor Roddy’s quiet, gentle turn as Michael’s granddad will move you to tears. But the beating heart of this fraught and frightening drama is young Dafhyd Flynn, whose bruised and tortured turn as our troubled, young protagonist is nothing short of breathtaking.

It’s no easy watch, that’s for sure — but it’s an important one. Stellar Irish film-making.  HHHHH

Also out this week: A Quiet Place 5 star movie review: 'A note-perfect horror film that sticks to its own fantasy logic'

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