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What Richard Did

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  • 29-05-2012 9:39pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,285 ✭✭✭


    Lenny Abrahamson's new film which according to IMDb has been completed. Does anyone know of when it is likely to be released.
    It is loosely based on the novel "Bad Day at Blackrock" which is an excellent read and I have high hopes for this film given the people involved.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,199 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Perhaps a chance it will premiere in Galway?

    I heard Abrahamson talk about it briefly a few months ago and it looks like an interesting project. Potentially similar to Kirsten Sheridan's Dollhouse in a few ways (not least the main actor) but it seems like it could be a nicely understated, offbeat little drama.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭Miguel_Sanchez


    Trailer is up on the RTE website: http://www.rte.ie/ten/2012/0831/whatricharddid.html


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,199 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Premiere is in the IFI on the 30th of September.

    It is already sold out :/


  • Registered Users Posts: 359 ✭✭Arcee


    RTE trailer a bit grainy and crap. There's a better quality one on YouTube


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭Miguel_Sanchez


    Arcee wrote: »
    RTE trailer a bit grainy and crap. There's a better quality one on YouTube.

    For some reason RTE were given a 1 day exclusive on the trailer it seems. Dunno why.


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  • Posts: 15,814 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Will keep this short as I'm on my phone but just put of a screening of What Richard Did and I have to say that I was very impressed by it. It's one of the most interesting Irish films to come along in many years.

    Loosely based on true events the film follows Richard, an 18 year old middle class Rugby star who has his whole life planned out. During one idyllic summer he and a group of friends are involved in an incident which changes their lives forever. It's a low key morality tale that does a lot with very little.

    While he story may be familiar the execution is not. There's a subtlety to way that Abrahamson tells the story that makes it rather unique. The post event scenes are handled with a compassion and restraint that creates real tension. There's no scenes following the police investigation or cliched night time meet ups where the huddled friends discuss turning themselves in. Instead the focus is almost solely on Richard and follows him through the various stages of anger, guilt and depression as he attempts to reconcile what he has done. At the same time Richard's father faces equally complex moral questions as he attempts to make sense of what his son has done.

    The film is one of those rare breed than can say a lot more with silence than a dozen lines of dialogue. The last third of the film is the most challenging and interesting. The lack of dialogue and reliance on visuals may make it hard work for some and the open ended final scene is something that a lot will have issue with even if it does offer up some very interesting questions. The film isn't perfect and does feel a little like a short film stretched out to 90 minutes and as such drags in places but overall Abramhson has delivered one of the better Irish films in a long time.

    Hopefully the film will find an audience as it's far more deserving of critical and commercial acclaim than crap such as The Guard. Sadly I fear that when it opens in cinemas on Friday most people will opt instead to see Taken 2 or The campaign.


  • Registered Users Posts: 85,519 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1


    Is it getting a general release here?


  • Posts: 15,814 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    JP Liz V1 wrote: »
    Is it getting a general release here?

    Far as I know it is.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,565 ✭✭✭losthorizon


    Its coming to Dungarvan on Friday and is being shown three times a night for the whole week at least. It looks intense. Another good irish film on the scene after grabbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,565 ✭✭✭losthorizon


    Is this based on a true story?


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,199 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Inspired by a true story, but heavily fictionalised.


  • Registered Users Posts: 724 ✭✭✭jonsnow


    Coincidentally I read "Bad day in Blackrock" a few weeks ago and was blown away by it.It is the only book I have ever read which felt like it talked about my generation of people-I was the same age as the characters at the time of the crucial incident.Even though I am not from dublin and did not go to a fee paying school I felt that there was a lot that I could relate to in relation to Irish middle class culture(although I obviously couldnt relate to some aspects).What was so fantastic about the novel was how subtle it was and how it so brilliantly damned the cynicism and hypocrisy at the heart of irish society while still humanising the characters.The language was also quite beautiful and precise.I honestly could not recommend this book highly enough.

    I am sure that the film will be fantastic as well given the director and how subtle and "still" his movies can be.Really looking forward to it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,203 ✭✭✭Goose81


    jonsnow wrote: »
    Coincidentally I read "Bad day in Blackrock" a few weeks ago and was blown away by it.It is the only book I have ever read which felt like it talked about my generation of people-I was the same age as the characters at the time of the crucial incident.Even though I am not from dublin and did not go to a fee paying school I felt that there was a lot that I could relate to in relation to Irish middle class culture(although I obviously couldnt relate to some aspects).What was so fantastic about the novel was how subtle it was and how it so brilliantly damned the cynicism and hypocrisy at the heart of irish society while still humanising the characters.The language was also quite beautiful and precise.I honestly could not recommend this book highly enough.

    I am sure that the film will be fantastic as well given the director and how subtle and "still" his movies can be.Really looking forward to it.

    I am and I did and the film looks absolutely cringworthy and ott from the trailer so i will not watch if for that reason. Its an odd feeling actually, one I have never felt towards a film. Hope it does well anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,789 ✭✭✭grizzly


    Saw this tonight, but left a little disappointed. I felt that too many of the characters were underdeveloped (
    the girlfriend – would have been good to get an insight on her perspective/his friend – more dialogue on his splitting away would have been nice
    ) Also the music was poorly chosen – taken me out of the drama instead of drawing me in.

    On the plus side the acting was mostly strong and the direction did much to produce and believable and tense atmosphere.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 22,559 ✭✭✭✭AnonoBoy


    Goose81 wrote: »
    I am and I did and the film looks absolutely cringworthy and ott from the trailer so i will not watch if for that reason.

    Have you seen any of Abrahamson's other films?

    He doesn't really do OTT at all. Subtle, slow and quiet are more his style.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,199 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    grizzly wrote: »
    I felt that too many of the characters were underdeveloped (
    the girlfriend – would have been good to get an insight on her perspective/his friend – more dialogue on his splitting away would have been nice
    ) Also the music was poorly chosen – taken me out of the drama instead of drawing me in.

    While I agree on the music being misjudged, I would counter your first point somewhat by suggesting that since the entire film is basically Richard's POV (pretty sure he's in every single scene of the film?) it's semi-forgivable that we only catch glimpses or small character moments from others. It's his story, and everyone else is a supporting character, especially given the narrow yet confused focus of his mindset in the second half particularly.

    I really liked the film. A very well-realised and smart character study. I admired Garage's style and intentions more than I liked the film itself (which left me a bit cold), but this I found it much easier to relate to given the settings and characters are the type I'd be much more familiar with. The dynamics between Richard and all his friends and family were compelling throughout, and everything about the film felt real and natural. Abrahamson nails the tone and pace, and his understated style ensures Richard's story is handled with subtlety and care. Reynor has much more to work with here than he does in Dollhouse (although that film was purposefully loosely written) and he impresses - Richard is a great protagonist, and both the actor and director do a great job making him a sympathetic, relatable figure even when he makes his big mistake. Overall a subtle, intelligent character study - although one that plays out on a grander and contemporary social scale - and certainly my favourite of Abrahmson's three films so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,272 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    While I agree on the music being misjudged, I would counter your first point somewhat by suggesting that since the entire film is basically Richard's POV (pretty sure he's in every single scene of the film?) it's semi-forgivable that we only catch glimpses or small character moments from others. It's his story, and everyone else is a supporting character, especially given the narrow yet confused focus of his mindset in the second half particularly.

    I really liked the film. A very well-realised and smart character study. I admired Garage's style and intentions more than I liked the film itself (which left me a bit cold), but this I found it much easier to relate to given the settings and characters are the type I'd be much more familiar with. The dynamics between Richard and all his friends and family were compelling throughout, and everything about the film felt real and natural. Abrahamson nails the tone and pace, and his understated style ensures Richard's story is handled with subtlety and care. Reynor has much more to work with here than he does in Dollhouse (although that film was purposefully loosely written) and he impresses - Richard is a great protagonist, and both the actor and director do a great job making him a sympathetic, relatable figure even when he makes his big mistake. Overall a subtle, intelligent character study - although one that plays out on a grander and contemporary social scale - and certainly my favourite of Abrahmson's three films so far.

    Totally spot on...agree with this entirely


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,272 ✭✭✭✭gmisk


    Also on an unrelated note........the main character looks kind of like a young slim Seth Rogen......


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,946 ✭✭✭Banjaxed82


    On another unrelated note....is Poolbeg the only isolated area in Dublin that location managers can get? How many appearances has that place made in films now? I only saw it in Shadow Dancer last month.

    Really liked the film anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 793 ✭✭✭jackal


    Saw this last night after hearing some gushing reviews on the radio.

    It starts well, a little ponderous, but as others have said the film captures the whole SCD thing very very well. Unfortunately, thats about as good as it gets. The whole film takes place from Richards point of view, and does not explore any of the really interesting parts of the story from a legal or societal point of view, instead focusing on this teenager, who, like most teens, does not have a whole lot to say for himself. Indeed the dialogue, which is sparse at the beginning, dies out completely towards the latter part of the film. Some have said they like this approach, but it seemed to me to be saying little, with less.

    I really liked Adam and Paul, and Garage, and had high hopes for this one. After sitting though a largely silent, very uneventful and shallow examination that got some things right but felt like one long missed opportunity I was not very impressed.

    The acting was pretty good all round and the lead was excellent. He certainly got enough screen time, as the director seemed to love showing his face when he wakes up, his face when he eats breakfast, his face when he sits on the couch... etc. I would estimate a good quarter of the film comprises close ups of Richards face.

    The ending, I quite liked but 90% of the people sat in their seats expecting it to come back as the credits were rolling and say what really happened. "Is that the end... WTF?" was heard. One of the people I talked to thought the opposite had happened than what I understood to have happened. Im all for leaving people guessing but it was not clear and seemed to have left a lot of the audience scratching their heads... not in a good way.

    I think when the reviews are in we will see the usual. An Irish film which is not awful will get 5 stars from every Irish critic, as they forgive its flaws due to the fact its Irish and is not a train wreck. Overseas it will not be given such an easy ride and the lack of dialogue, drama and depth will not be excused based on what the director has done in the past or how accurately he portrays a small section of Irish society.

    Would not recommend this as a cinema film. I will get it again on DVD to see if its as boring in parts as I remember, but my companions all found the same thing. It had its good parts, but not enough of them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,006 ✭✭✭Irish Aris


    I, on the other hand, found the open ending absolutely spot on. I don't think it really matters what really happened after that. His life as he knew it is over.
    Not being Irish, I am not familiar at all with the real events in which the film is loosely based.
    I found this an excellent character study, seeing the whole film through Richard's eyes. The perfect life he has before the incident and how, after that, he kind of drifts away from everybody around him. . .and to some extend from himself.
    It made me think how just one second of out of character rage can destroy your whole life.
    The scene in the beach house where he has the "crisis". . .I found it shocking and disturbing at the same time.
    And I think that Jack Reynor is a brilliant choice for the leading role of Richard.

    Highly recommended if you don't mind it being a slow burner. For me, one of the best films I've seen so far this year.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,199 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Actually think it would have ruined the film if they went into any legal or more thrillery aspects of the case. The film's core concern isn't really the incident itself - it's more Richard's mindset before, during and after that it tries to encapsulate. That scene where he's listening to the radio is just heartbreaking, because we know he's ultimately a decent guy who just made a ****ing stupid split-second decision. That scene is more effective than any amount of protracted court or whodunnit type scenes would be. Similarly,
    the scene after he's had grim, impulsive sex with the younger girl, or his Garda interview
    . Expressions and what's not said are what lends these scenes their power.

    If there's one great strength of the film it's that it very rarely explicitly states what's going in the protagonist's head, and in that sense it has great trust for the audience. That's why the ending IMO is beautifully realised.
    Richard's life will go on in seemingly normal way, but his guilt and anguish is only going to gnaw away at him, especially if - as is suggested - he gets away with it. There's the somewhat optimistic suggestion that he will likely succeed (he's clearly entirely committed to university), but at the same time the events of the film have irrevocably changed a teenager who started off with barely a care in the world
    . That to me was a very satisfying journey to experience.


  • Posts: 15,814 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Getting bogged down in the legal aspect of the investigation or delving deeper into the mindset of the group of friends would only have made the film generic and underwhelming. The films greatest strength is how the focus is almost entirely on Richard, the scenes with his father are the only moments in the film where we see how another is grappling with the moral dilemma of the events of the night.

    A lot of people seem to be of the mind that the ending
    is him escaping any legal ramifications of his actions but instead spending his life being eaten away by the guilt. A more interesting reading of it could be that Richard has gotten over it and once the threat of being found out are gone he's okay with what he did and is just going to get on with his life as normal.

    On an unrelated note. After the screening of What Richard Did there was a public Q and A with Abramson and by God but people really need to think before they open their mouths. Questions ranged from "I noticed in the credits that one of the girls was called Gleeson, is she a sister to Brendan?" to statements such as "I loved the film, it's an important film that everyone should see but the cinema going public are too stupid to go see it" Still nowhere near as bad as the time I sat in a public Q and A with David Lynch and one of the first questions was, "what is your favorite film of yours?" followed by this gem "What was it like going from working on films such as Eraserhead to films like Dune and Scanners?"


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,312 ✭✭✭Kooli


    Saw this last night and absolutely loved it.
    There were quite a few moments in it when I glimpsed what could have happened in the hands of a less competent director - I'd be imagining something was about to happen (because any other generic film would have had it happen), and when it didn't I just felt utter relief that this movie was so unique and understated.
    The performances were absolutely outstanding, the relationships utterly authentic and the ending was perfect.

    As someone who grew up in that kind of 'scene', I absolutely cringed with how spot-on the portrayal of the privileged teenagers was!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    I saw it last night. Thought it was really well done. I even liked the ending of it - subtly making the point that he never handed himself in - regardless of what else happened.

    I do hope that it does well, it's been a long time that I've sat in a Cinema with such a style of film where the whole crowd were captivated for the whole time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭Miguel_Sanchez


    It's doing ok at the box office but not great. Hopefully that'll change.

    57,000 euro which sounds decent but it is showing on 21 screens around the country.

    http://www.thisisirishfilm.ie/box_offices/144

    It's taken in more than Perks of Being a Wallflower this week though and on less screens.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,090 ✭✭✭livinsane


    I saw this last night. Really liked it, mainly because of the fantastic lead actor. For me, it was a film about
    emotions, showing his change from a carefree guy to a jealous partner. That dark tunnel-vision envy was shown in a few scenes leading up to the house party. The funeral scene was marvelous as was the scene in the boathouse when he breaks down. I liked the ending, it would have been less satisfying if they had wrapped it up.
    Loved how accurately the mannerisms of the teenagers were portrayed without being cartoonish or contrived. Really great cast.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,671 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sad Professor


    I thought this was superb. I'm fairly ignorant of D4 culture, but the film does seem to accurately capture it. However, thankfully Abrahamson avoids turning the film into some boring social and economic commentary. It's really just about a very privileged, well rounded, decent and (deservedly) popular bloke who in a moment of rage does something which he will have to live with for the rest of his life. The brilliance of the film is the way Abrahamson puts you in his shoes. I found the ending quite affecting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,240 ✭✭✭✭Birneybau


    I saw this last night, thought it was a good, well acted film.

    My issue however, is the amount of people here calling Richard a "decent" guy.
    An alpha male, he takes 2 friend's girls from them, walks over while Connor (the guy that he kills) is in tears talking to Lara, hangs around in a bit of an intimidating way, big man sh!t. And, from my taking of it, he lets the gatecrashers of the party (non-D4 lads) take the wrap.

    My 2 cents.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,671 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sad Professor


    I didn't think his behaviour with Connor was intimating. He was tactless (not unusual for someone that age), but was just trying to resolve things happily so that he could have Lara to himself. The possessiveness with which he treats her is fairly typical young male behaviour and not something I'd hold against him. As for the ending, it's really left up in the air.
    I kinda agree that he probably doesn't give himself in, but that's after the fact.
    Up to that point he seemed like a fairly decent guy, albeit over-confident.


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