A little ways into Intermission, it becomes clear that there are too many characters and that as hard as the film tries, it will not amount to much. It's kind of disappointing, since there are so many talented people in front of the camera and stories that look like they could go somewhere but end up not. Intermission is a series of interconnected stories that take place in a seedier section of Dublin. It sets out to be a dark comedy full of brash characters, and partially succeeds. This is the film that, at time could use subtitles because the accents are so heavy. If anything, it does help contribute to the overall tone of the film.
The 'central' character is Lehiff (Colin Farrell, S.W.A.T., Veronica Guerin), the local hooligan. He concocts a scheme to rob a bank by kidnapping the bank manager by ransoming his girlfriend. Jerry (Colm Meaney, How Harry Became a Tree, Most Important), a tough, overly violent cop, is out to get Lehiff, and is himself the subject of a documentary. John (Cillian Murphy, Cold Mountain, Girl with a Pearl Earring) hates his job at the supermarket, and is horrified to learn that his girlfriend Deirdre (Kelly Macdonald, Gosford Park, Two Family House), has taken up with 'a baldy fella.'. Deirdre's sister Sally (Shirley Henderson, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) is depressed over a relationship that ended badly, and is cultivating quite the moustache. There are a bunch of other characters that really don't matter at all.
Director John Crowley and Mark O'Rowe merrily switch back and forth between all the characters, so much so that at first it's pretty confusing sorting out how everybody is related to everybody else. Things soon fall into place, but that doesn't mean things get interesting. Crowly and O'Rowe did a good job of tying everything together, they just forgot to make a compelling reason to like these characters. They are certainly not charismatic, but they are too dull to be effective villains. It seems that Crowley wants to make Lehiff, Jerry, and some of the other characters antagonists in a fun way, but that never quite works. Farrell's bad boy Lehiff seems strangely tame compared to some of his off-screen antics.
Intermission is too uneven in tone to be effective. Violence mixes badly with dark comedic flourishes. It soon becomes dull watching how everything relates to everything else. The most sympathetic character should be John, but he was much too whiny to be taken seriously. He brought all of his troubles upon himself. Crowley directs a big ensemble comedy that at times borders on being a complete mess, but there are just a few moments that are actually funny enough to do some good.
|Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.|
|1 hour, 45 minutes, Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, and violence.|
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