It’s awards season, which means some of the most powerful films are in the spotlight. Films that audiences may not normally have access to are becoming household names because of the award they are up for. That is exactly what The Party was for me, and I’m better for having watched it.
Taking place in Belfast in 1972, The Party is about a night of unbridled youth as a member of the IRA, Mickey, returns home to see his friends. The premise may be simple, but the emotional tone of the film dives deep into our soul.
The battle between the Crown and the IRA was a devastating situation that is not far into our past, yet one that still resonates. It’s hard to imagine that situation, where you are being persecuted for your nationality in your own country. However, comparing that to current climates across the globe, it does not seem so implausible.
The Party was nominated for a British Short Film award at this year’s BAFTAs, and it was well warranted. Short films can be tricky, presenting a full story in less than 30 minutes, but this film not only does that it also showcases a heavy history of a country. The Party does a beautiful job of capturing the time period, with the appropriate clothing and set design, but also casing a dreadful mood over city.
A blanket of fear, frustration, and rebellion sits just on the top of the fun-loving friends as they engage in once in a lifetime type of disillusion. It’s a sobering idea, being on the run from the police, but one that is not heavy-handed in the story. The point is made about the situation of the times without forcing the audience to be engaged. You are engaged because the story is touching enough for you to care about the people of the film.
The young cast of this film has heart and an emotional depth. You feel as if they are in the depths of this crisis, and never question their involvement to the message of the film. The youthful conviction of the film comes not only from the cast, but from the writer as well. Actor Conor MacNeill (The Fall) has taken the leap into screenwriting with this film. If he can craft an emotional story with only 14 minutes, it will captivating to see what he can do with a feature. One can only hope this is the beginning of McNeill’s writing career.
The Party is a thought-provoking heartfelt film about friendship and the lethal reality of a war-torn country. It’s films like these that stick with us long after the credits role for all the right reasons, prompting the audience to become aware of situations bigger than themselves. This BAFTA nominated film is a must see in 2017.
For more information on The Party, please go to the film’s director, Andrea Harkin’s official website.
Written by Lisa Mejia
Images provided by London Flair PR