1 Feb 2022
Ferdia MacAnna, Mary Duffin
Darragh Byrne, Helena Geoghegan, Clelia Murphy, Jack Hickey
In 1981 Ireland, an insecure young man struggles to find romance and direction in his life.
Nineteen-year-old Daniel (Byrne) is having trouble finding a girlfriend and stutters when he gets nervous. He lives with his mother Kathleen (Murphy), brother Rory (Hickey) and sister Maeve (Geoghegan). His father disappeared a long time ago and nobody knows what happened to him. Daniel makes some effort to move on in the world and finds a job as a boat inspector. He also ends up meeting Carla (Moloney), with whom he becomes romantically involved and starts seeing a professional in order to help him with his stutter.
This coming-of-age comedy-drama is rather enjoyable, with interesting characters and a funny and emotional screenplay. Poor Daniel has to deal with quite a lot. His singer brother disrespects him and his mother does not hesitate to say whatever is on her mind. His sensible younger sister appears to be the only member of his family with whom he can really talk. The main focus is Daniel as he tries to build a life for himself and ends up dealing with one thing after another as he pursues his goals. The film also follows his relatives, as they pursue their own goals. There is plenty of humorous dialogue, awkward situations and scenes of confrontation. Rather amusing are the scenes where Dr. Wolkenski uses unusual methods in order to help Daniel overcome his stutter.
Generally, the acting is good and the cast delivers performances that are entertaining and dramatic. Daniel is believable as a socially-awkward young man and he is particularly funny when he gets nervous. Geoghegan is the most mature and sensible of the three siblings, who is also cheeky and almost constantly wears heavy makeup and Murphy is a person who is always willing to do something about anything she does not like, even showing her neighbour that she disapproves of her.
The mise-en-scene effectively brings the audience back to the early nineteen-eighties, with the clothing, hairstyles and makeup belonging in that period. The editing by Philip Lewis is creative and makes effective use of wipe techniques. The soundtrack contains quite a few enjoyable songs from various artists.
This feature is about finding romance, about finding one's place in the world and it also explores family values. Well acted and with a strong script, this film is a comical experience that also has its fair share of drama.
DannyBoy is available to watch via VOD at Apple TV, Google Play Ireland, Amazon UK, and the Microsoft Store.