Kings

Film
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This melancholy, whiskey-soaked dialogue-fest is adapted from a play (Jimmy Murphy’s The Kings of the Kilburn High Road), and at times you can almost hear writer and director Collins straining to open it up with multiple locations and flashbacks. The action takes place over the course of one day, as five middle-aged Irish immigrants who have been living in England for decades gather for the funeral and wake of a friend. Jap (O’Kelly) and Git (Conroy) are chronic drunks, far enough along that Git pawns his father’s watch to buy booze. Máirtín (Barnes) is trying to dry out to save his marriage, but is sorely tempted by the wake. Joe (Meaney) has built a thriving construction company, but only by ditching his friends completely. And Shay (Crowley) has found a middle road, working as a green-grocer while trying to play peacemaker to his bickering old pals.

Despite the flashbacks, this film still feels like a night at the theater, for better and for worse. The emotional moments and revelations arrive with the regularity of the next round of drinks, and it would take a fool not to see the big, painful twists. Nevertheless, this kind of script lives or dies by the strength of the cast, and this ensemble sells every moment. It’s enjoyable as a film, even if we wish we could have seen this cast do it onstage.

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Details

Release details

Cast and crew

Director:
Tom Collins
Screenwriter:
Tom Collins
Cast:
Colm Meaney
Donal O'Kelly
Brendan Conroy
Barry Barnes
Donncha Crowley