Thursday, March 31, 2011

FOUR DAYS IN JULY (1985) - Mike Leigh


The fact that I had to look up the Twelfth of July on Wikipedia directly after watching this is surely a indicator that I'm not the target audience for this Mike Leigh TV film. I'm sure it would have helped tremendously if I was a Protestant or Catholic or had some stake in the past or present conflicts between the two. To make matters more bewildering, the accents in Four Days in July were thicker to my ear than the head on a properly pulled pint of Guinness. Needless to say, all the confusion in July left me a little dry.

Yet, there's still a few things for non-Anglophile Yanks to enjoy here when you can parse the language. Leigh manages to get political without being overtly preachy in the twin tales of two expecting couples, one Protestant and one Catholic, in the days leading up to and following the Twelfth celebrations and the births of their two new babies. This is cute parallel structure until you realize these babies may very well grow up one day to fire guns or detonate car bombs in an effort to exterminate one another. Then it's closer to harrowing.

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