Pixie – Film Review
by Hugh Maguire
Director: Barnaby Thompson
Writer: Preston Thompson
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Fra Fee, Rory Fleck Byrne
In the days when pubs and clubs were open, many lads who would have loved this film… falling home, half-cut, late at night it is sufficiently diverting and entreating to keep one awake another few hours but wouldn’t stand up to much scrutiny in the cold light of day. The Off-Licence slabs of beer will have to do to numb the senses and take this for what it is, a fast-paced mad-yarn – with three strong well-acted leads, hints of hot sex (that never delivers) and enough blood and murder to make Tarantino envious. Aimed at, it must be presumed, a certain market it prolongs the view that the Irish are all half-mad in a Mrs Brown / Father Ted kind of way. And forget about the suffering inflicted in real life by the Hutch-Kinahan feud, isn’t heavy-duty drug dealing great craic altogether. In the middle of this floats Pixie, the focus of local longing and lust, the daughter of a criminal dynasty sailing through life with men falling at her feet, either through love or as a corpse.
It is not insignificant that one scene has Daddy Gangster preparing food closely following Nigella Lawson, doing her usual seductive TV cooking shtick because as with most complex stews there is a lot happening here and perhaps too many ingredients to know what the dish actually is. A feminist parable? A mad-capped comedy? A family drug-fuelled thriller? Ingredients there are aplenty. Take one part Normal People (even down to the Sligo setting) with young good looking main leads, add in lots of beautiful scenery, a potential sexual threesome, a homosexual kiss, car chases, and a by-now predictable, if completely extraneous, sideswipe at the Catholic Church, along with loads of priests and nuns wearing robes and vestments not seen since the early 1920s, and blood splatter every few minutes. It is like you are fast-forwarding through a video game for boys of a certain age. What the briefly appearing Alec Baldwin is doing in all of this is anyone’s guess. We like to think we have gone some distance beyond the Ireland of The Quiet Man (1952) but given the improbable mileage covered by the protagonists and the half-baked lunatics confronted en route, one wonders. And of course, as one’s mother might say…not a guard to be seen! It’ll find a home with those who enjoy the gorier end of McDonagh and Tarantino’s oeuvre but unfortunately lacks their touch of pixie dust.