The Limit Of: Too many people talking too slowly

Review: There are ideas worth pursuing here, but they needed a lot more refinement

Laurence O’Fuarain in The Limit Of

Film Title: The Limit Of

Director: Alan Mulligan

Starring: Laurence O'Fuarain, Sonya O'Donoghue, Sarah Carroll

Genre: Thriller

Running Time: 93 min

Wed, Apr 3, 2019, 06:00

   

No film this year is likely to be so taken up with two people talking slowly. Here are two people talking slowly in an office. Here are two people talking slowly outside a cafe. Here are two people talking slowly while one of them is chained to a chair.

Take away the puzzlingly long pauses, fillet out the not-bad songs by Mick Flannery and you would be left with about 30 minutes of socially engaged plot. Passion and commitment are in evidence throughout, but the script yells out for more narrative oomph.

James (Laurence O’Fuarain), a slick operative at an evil Dublin bank run by bald men in bad suits, is tired of grinding the poor into dust. It’s an odd sort of institution. The bank is sufficiently shabby to arrange holiday pay on a wee whiteboard decorated with red crosses – like a suburban dry cleaners – but huge enough to attract the attention of newsreaders immediately the telly is turned on.

James devises a plan to redress the economic imbalances by toying with pending loan applications and, after generating a lot of green bars on the computer, he dumps the evidence on a memory stick that seems destined to fall into the wrong hands.

To this point the picture has played out like a low-budget tech thriller. When his colleague Allison (Sarah Carroll) confronts him it becomes something odder: a low-budget mash-up of The Collector and Black Snake Moan. He chains her up in the basement with nothing so helpful as a chamber pot, but she stubbornly refuses to mind as much as she should. Happily, the occasional suggestions that things are about to turn kinky lead nowhere.

Director and writer Alan Mulligan, a former tax consultant who quit the rat race, has nothing but the most admirable intentions. His anger at the banks is justified. His desire for a moral upending is commendable. The actors do what they can and the slim budget is stretched with great imagination.

Unfortunately, the threadbare plot makes little sense and the characters’ motivations are too often incomprehensible. There are ideas worth pursuing here, but they needed a lot more refinement.

Opens on April 5th

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