A Film with Me in It
Dylan Moran, Keith Allen, Aisling O’Sullivan, Amy Huberman, Mark Doherty / Fiction / English
Shallow Grave meets Withnail & I…
Weeks behind with the rent, and with his domestic situation deteriorating accordingly, struggling actor Mark (Mark Doherty) seeks counsel with his friend and upstairs neighbour, Pierce (Dylan Moran), a dissolute writer/director who casually seeks inspiration in the pub. With Pierce also in arrears, it looks like things couldn’t get any worse, but they do. Finding themselves accidentally embroiled in a seemingly inescapable web of murder and lies, our under-achieving heroes desperately struggle, against ever-increasing odds, to take control of their perilous situation.At the outset, A Film with Me in It appears to be an enjoyable, low-key comedy. However, just as we are lured into a comfortable sense of security by its initial tone, the film changes gear and moves into darker, fresher, territory. This transition is surprisingly smooth, aided by both excellent performances and a light touch that is maintained throughout. As the title suggests, there is also a deconstructive element, as Moran’s character conceives not only a plan that may save the day, but simultaneously, the elusive script idea he has been searching for. This theme is interestingly augmented by the fact that, aside from playing one of the two central roles, Doherty also wrote the real script.He and Moran shine as the two helpless victims of fate, their central relationship employing the same kind of cynical, ironic humour brandished by Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann in the iconic Withnail and I. In particular Moran proves himself, once again, to be not only a gifted comic performer, but a talented screen actor. Surrounded by a strong supporting cast, including a memorable turn from Keith Allen as their gruff landlord, he and Doherty lead us through the twists and turns of the unpredictable plot with an endearing and suitably deadpan charm. Indeed, this blackly comic thriller is a joy that keeps you laughing and guessing right up until the very last minute.
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