by Yvonne Reddin

Director:  Brendan Muldowney

Actors:  Darren Healy, Nora-Jane Noone

Genre:  Drama

Rated:  18

At last a true gritty depiction of Dublin at its worst.  It delivers exactly what it says on the tin: violence at its most savage. Be warned: those who are easily shocked or are faint of heart would be best advised to avoid this film. Savage covers one man’s transformation from a quiet being to a frenzied psychopath.

This movie centres on photo journalist, Paul Graynor, played with passion by Darren Healy. Graynor is a shy, subdued man who keeps to himself.  You get to see this character in every scene yet you don’t learn enough about him to actually connect with him. Yes, you feel pity for him but the audience are given very little opportunity to connect with the main character.

Graynor’s character falls victim to a vicious attack in Dublin’s city centre. The trauma suffered by Graynor results in his psychological breakdown. His descent into a vengeful monster is uncomfortable to watch yet gripping.

There are many similarities to earlier classics like Taxi Driver. The story unfolds into a shocking climax that leaves you either leaving the cinema or looking through the gaps in your fingers.  There are violent films that you can kind of understand; this one nearly glorifies the blood-thirst in the final scene.  The music is intense and binds well with the overall theme of the movie.  The camera shots give it more realism and you can almost feel what it’s like to wake up after been mugged. The standard is improving for Irish films and it shows what you can achieve on a low budget.

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