Trespass Against Us, 2017.
Directed by Adam Smith
Starring Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Sean Harris, Lyndsey Marshal, Rory Kinnear, and Killian Scott.
An insight into the strained relationship between a son and father from an Irish travelling community.
The Cutler family is comprised of strong morals, loyalty and a spirited bond, something the audience would associate with an Irish travelling community. Trespass Against Us allows us to peer into the family and the individuals, whilst examining the internal strain between Father and Son – which is the focus of the film.
Colby (Gleeson) is the oldest and leader of the family, a stubborn, gutsy and scheming dictator he assumes responsibility for the Cutler’s misadventures as they terrorise the surrounding community. Chad (Fassbender) is his son, who has a family of his own whom he adores and we follow him as he endeavors to break free from the archetypal Irish community set-up to give his family a modern upbringing whilst battling the friction between his family and the campsite where they reside.
Gleeson and Fassbender are obviously the major draws for the film but unfortunately those who are seeking a dose of vintage performances from either will have to look elsewhere.
There are some interesting concepts to Trespass Against Us; propaganda of western education, the ever-longing urge to better one’s life and the misguided loyalty towards family provides sparks of interest as the film begins. But, none of these strands are explored with conviction and depth, leading to a lack of meaningful direction which blights the film and will leave viewers seething with frustration. The fact that the acting potential of Fassbender and Gleeson have been wasted should mean that this film should be outrightly lambasted.
The aesthetic of the Colby’s lacks imagination too. It feels like a cut-price mimic of Brad Pitt’s Irish travelling community in Snatch, which was so raw and unforgiving. Dare I say it, but, it seems like such a stereotypical portrayal of an Irish travelling community that at times it felt offensive and embarrassing. A far cry from Adam Smith’s ingeniously authentic and gritty production of The Streets – Blinded by Lights all of those hazy years ago.
I guarantee those who watch Trespass Against Us will leave the cinema and ask what was actually achieved in the 99 minutes. It leaves no impression and the potential that could have elevated the film isn’t utilised.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★★ / Movie: ★