In View – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Ciaran Creagh
Writer: Ciaran Creagh
Stars: Ciarán McMenamin, Stuart Graham, Gerard McSorle, Caoilfhionn Dunne
Ruth (Caoilfhionn Dunne) is a Garda detective whose life is unravelling. The film begins with her in a pub near to closing time telling a crude story raucously. She is not sober. She leaves the pub, gets into her car and is stopped by a patrol car. She obviously has a drink problem. The apparent cause is the death of her husband by suicide and the earlier death of their one day old child. Her own behaviour prior to this double tragedy was not without blame. She is overwhelmed by self-loathing as a result. The relationship with her husband’s parents is poor at best. At work and at home she is chaotic and she bursts into unpredictable rages on the smallest of provocations or none at all. The most positive aspect of her personality is the wish to donate her vital organs in the event of her death. The entire background to the film is bringing to prominence various human tragedies which society prefers to circumvent or to pretend are not as prevalent or as serious as they are. Creagh bravely goes where most fear to tread.
Caoilfhionn Dunne is in front of the camera for most of the film. It is a role requiring great emotional resources as Ruth battles against her inner demons and the immediate society around her. Ruth’s most determined foe is her own mental anguish. Dunne, in a performance of grim magnificence, rages at all who come within her compass as her own downward mental path gains momentum. It is not a pretty sight and it is remorseless. However, whatever may be one’s own diffidence to grapple with mental problems, Creagh by his direction keeps you bound by Ruth’s manifold devils. The cast includes Maria McDermott Roe and Gerard McSorley as the parents-in law who find Ruth’s behaviour, to put it at its best, bewildering while Stuart Graham and Ciaran McMenamin as Garda colleagues try their best to provide support. However Ruth has her own determination to continue on her path.
Creagh is courageous to enter a space which society is content, for the most part, to leave unoccupied. Dunne’s performance ensures that this film is well worth the effort to see but as a film it makes for uncomfortable watching.