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I, Daniel Blake.

  • 21-10-2016 10:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,431 ✭✭✭

    I, Daniel Blake is the new Ken Loach film and its proper amazing! Emotionally powerful, politically sharp as a knife, fantastic acting, nearly made me weep, it was just fantastic. Highly recommended. Here's a trailer


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,979 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    For the first two-thirds of I, Daniel Blake, this is a well-observed portrait of the dehumanising effect of 'the system'. Anybody who has had to deal with state bodies will find several scenes here frustratingly familiar - the maddening hold music, the dystopian bureaucracy, the nonsense language, that constant sense you're a stat more than a person. There's a genuineness to the portrayal here that sets it apart, as well as a fundamental empathy and humanity. There's nothing special about the filmmaking here - although that's sort of the point, it being pure social realism (although there were a handful of IMO clearly missed opportunities for more poetic shots) - but the messages and performances more than carry it along.

    Then comes the sledgehammer.

    It has been a while since the third act of a film left such a sour taste for me. Loach and Laverty adopt a brute force approach that removes any capacity for nuance, using cheap and unconvincing dramatic shortcuts to overstate themes that were already clearly explored. Several clunky speeches reaffirm the film's messages in the bluntest possible terms, and even as someone who absolutely sympathises with them the complete lack of subtlety really irritated me. I don't like the phrase misery porn, but my god I think this film's finest act does its darnedest to earn the label.

    Which is such a shame, because there's an ever urgent core to this film which is near impossible to dismiss. There's worthwhile stuff here, but it gets lost in some fairly insipid filmmaking and screenwriting. Definitely see how this winning the Palme d'Or over Toni Erdmann raised some eyebrows. For all Loach's justified critiques of the conservative nature of British cinema, this sadly could do with being rather more radical itself.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,435 ✭✭✭pumpkin4life

    Mixed bag.

    On one hand, the movie depicts very well what it's like to be poor, like out and out completely fùcked poor, not just can't go out for some pints tonight poor. The boredom (the worst thing about being poor almost) , the humiliation, the "everything is on hold" in your life ;lingering shots of Danny wandering around handing in C.Vs for a job that doesn't exist is bang on; the dehumanizing cog on the machine effect of going through the welfare system. I don't know was Loach ever poor, but the movie (like the far superior Inside Llewellyn Davis) certainly has a realistic on point grasp of what extreme poverty actually does to you.

    On the other hand, I, Daniel Blake is about as subtle as getting your head beaten in with a hurley. The characters are either "good people down on their luck" or "evil government workers". There's a few cringeworthy scenes in the later half of the film, and the ending you can see a mile off. Again, show don't tell lads. I don't need to hear speeches summing up the last 100 minutes of movie like; the audience aint a bunch of planks dont you know.

    The best scene in the movie was
    where Daniel was in an internet cafe trying to fill in an online form.
    On one hand, it was quite humorous and fun, but on the other hand, it was far more dark and miserable than the latter half of the movie.

    Why? Because a lad who doesn't know how to use a computer in 2016 is absolutely fùcked sideways and is just going to be left behind, whether he likes it or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,423 ✭✭✭✭Outlaw Pete

    Tries much too hard to say very obvious things... that ultimately it becomes cringing. You can see it all coming from a mile off. Felt like I was watching something made to show school kids. An open university drama or something similar.

    One scene in particular was just embarrassingly try hard to the point of ridiculousness. The message pinned to a sledgehammer smacking cinema goers about the head would have been more subtle.

  • Registered Users Posts: 51,342 ✭✭✭✭That_Guy

    The fade out/in to show a passing of time kinda bugged me a bit when watching this BUT I can easily forgive it because the story is so good.

    I was over in Newcastle for a game not too long ago and the amount of advertisements about the place for young people/families to speak to someone if they're feeling down due to unemployment. It never really hit home until I saw this film and how real that kind of hardship is in that part of the UK.

    The scene in the food bank has stuck with me ever since. I saw it in the IFI last Friday afternoon and there was a collective gasp of shock during that entire scene.

    I don't really care that you could see the ending coming a mile away. I adored this film and I'm still thinking about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,386 ✭✭✭EagererBeaver

    Incredibly powerful film.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭El Duda

    I, Daniel Blake - 8/10

    So after the exhausting experience of Dunkirk I watched this on Sunday and was left emotionally drained.

    Ken Loach has made a very important film here that has sparked mass debate in all corners of the media/society. The film has been discussed in Parliament and on TV shows like Newsnight etc... which testament to the films realism.

    It's very much a straight-to-the-point film. It's message is completely self explanatory and transparent. There are at least three hair raising scenes which are intensely emotional and affecting.

    For example, I've read and heard a lot about food banks but didn't realise quite how grim they can be. In fact, I've rarely seen footage of one on TV and you can see why. The food bank scene in this film is extremely distressing.

    As someone who enjoys films primarily for escapism, the brutal honesty of films like this really hit home.

    Non-actor Dave Johns and Hayley Squires are both great as the two leads but there some ropey accents and amateurish acting from the supporting cast.

    Good, powerful stuff but very bleak.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,108 ✭✭✭boombang

    Just finished this film. Think there are some legitimate points to make about the system, but this was so, so overdone. It might be harsh to say that it's just class antagonism and simplistic propaganda.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,642 ✭✭✭Delta2113

    Incredibly powerful film.

    - I agree.