IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Not Rated | 27min | Short, Comedy | Feb 2005 (UK) | Short
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Rúaidhrí Conroy, David Wilmot
Movie Tagline: “A black and bloody Irish comedy”
IMDb summary: A black and bloody Irish comedy about a sad train journey where an older man, whose wife has died that morning, encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young oddball….
This short film really took us by surprise. We stumbled upon it while looking at trailers on YouTube and discovered that it featured Brendan Gleeson, whom I admire as an actor. I didn’t know that it was directed and written by Martin McDonagh, who also directed the fantastic Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
So grabbing my interest was relatively easy. What I didn’t realise was just how dark and morbid this short film would be. The gist of the story begins with Brendan Gleeson’s character, who has just lost his wife. On his journey back home from the hospital, he meets a loud and somewhat obnoxious young man who sits opposite him on the train.
As their conversation progresses, the young man focuses his attention on a couple sitting opposite him who look very distraught. The man tells them that his wife just lost her baby to cot death. The young man annoys the distraught man who becomes so angry with him they almost have a fight right there on the train. Brendan Gleeson’s character steps in and diffuses the situation. Once the woman is alone, the young man targets her and begins taunting her about her dead baby, which upsets her so much she leaves and makes her way to the end of the carriage and goes out the door.
What happens next was as disturbing as it was shocking, but given the awful situations these characters are in, it probably shouldn’t have been as shocking as it was. They call the police who begin questioning each passenger about the events and during this investigation; the policeman thinks he recognises the young man from somewhere but can’t place him.
Further down the line before Brendan Gleeson’s stop on the journey, policemen are everywhere with their guns out and in position. You know something’s wrong, but you do not understand what that is until all hell breaks loose. The young man is pulling out two six-shooters and opens fire on the squad of policemen situated outside the train.
It’s a very intense few minutes, but it’s over quickly and the film slowly winds down to an equally dark and morbid ending.
But wow! This short film is probably my favourite to date. After researching the title, I discovered it is an Oscar-winning short film and won for best short in 2006. And that doesn’t surprise me as this film is fantastic.
But be warned – the film focuses on some very dark subjects which could be triggers for some people. While they classify it as a dark comedy, it is a lot more dark than it is funny.
It’s a superb piece of writing and directing by Martin McDonagh, who seems to keep popping up on our radar recently and with good reason. You should definitely check out this short if you have a spare half-hour because it’s one of the best short films we’ve seen to date and well worth the time.
You can see the Oscar award-winning short here:
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.