What Richard Did (2012) (Blu-Ray)
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United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Dolby Linear PCM ), English ( DTS-HD Master Audio ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: What Richard Did follows Richard Karlsen, golden-boy athlete and undisputed alpha-male of his privileged set of South Dublin teenagers, through the summer between the end of school and the beginning of university. Richard's world is bright and everything seems possible, until one summer night when love, pride and jealousy cause Richard to commit an act that will destroy it all and shatter the lives of those closest to him... Featuring extraordinary performances from its mainly young cast, What Richard Did is a quietly devastating study of a boy confronting the gap between who he thought he was and who he proves to be. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Toronto International Film Festival, ...What Richard Did (2012) (Blu-Ray)
- Language : English
- Director : Lenny Abrahamson
- Media Format : Import, Blu-ray, Widescreen
- Run time : 88 minutes
- Actors : Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Sam Keeley, Gavin Drea, Fionn Walton
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
- Studio : Artificial Eye
- ASIN : B00FKQH89U
- Country of origin : United Kingdom
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Malcolm Campbell’s script, adapted from Kevin Power’s novel Bad Day in Blackrock (2008), is superb. It starts almost as a slow burner, establishing the characters, showing us Richard’s perfect life, and hinting that it will only improve as he matures. Then the incident happens. Our muscles tighten and we want to shout “no” at the screen, urging, pleading, begging for it not to happen, but it does, and Campbell makes us experience the pain and heartache that all the characters feel.
Abrahamson’s film reminded me of the excellent novel This Is How (2009) by M. J. Hyland, which is the only piece of fiction I ever forgot that the protagonist Patrick was fictional, and for a moment, when not reading the book, I worried about him. After watching What Richard Did I continued thinking about Richard days after.
Reynor plays Richard with a smiling swagger. He makes us believe and care about him. The scene when he’s alone in the summer house is as sad and frightening as Martin Sheen’s famous drunk scene in Apocalypse Now (1979).
I adored What Richard Did. Unlike, say, Brian De Palma’s brilliant film Scarface (1983), which too captures the viewer and offers the most rounded of characters in Tony Montana, there’s always a distancing, as the majority of us will never become a Cuban drug lord. Whereas, with What Richard Did, the possibility of thoughtless, stupid mistakes are more plausible, although hopefully not.
to a lesser extent his frustrating weaknesses.
On the plus side, he is great with his actors, both in who he casts and what he gets out of them. His characters always feel
complex and real. He also sets up very convincing, morally ambiguous worlds, situations and people. No easy heroes and
But he also has a tendency to be drawn to melodramatic twists, and those actually make his films less interesting, not more,
as it feels like he's trying to force the emotional issues.
In many ways my favorite part of the film was the first 45 minutes before the central incident. Abrahamson excells at observing
and capturing the complexities of late teen-age life with subtlety and a fresh eye. These aren't the desperate angry street kids
of poverty, nor are they the morally bankrupt idiots we often see upper-class kids portrayed as. They feel real; they drink, but
they're not all alcoholics and stoners. They have sex, but more often than not it's attached to some sense of emotion, at graspings
towards being in a relationship. Their parents are flawed but trying. Its people as people, not just symbols, even though subtle
issues of class and social standing inform the whole story.
But when it gets to the big twists and the big themes, I felt it laboring more, working at it's effects instead of letting them happen.
Its not that the 2nd half isn't good,its that it lacks the power the set up and situation seems to promise. It sticks to it's ambiguity,
but that starts to feel just a touch like an intellectual conceit, not an exploration of darker human truths.
Two seemingly untarnished questions are asked in Abrahmson's movie: "Why is this happening to me?" and "What do I do?" If you make note of when these explorations are challenged, you may become aware of how loaded they become. Richard is no square peg in a world of round holes. He fits inside the universe quite contently. This only makes his act more maddening.
It will create divisive opinion and in a sense the ending is justified but i couldn't help feel the greatest of sympathies for our main lead.