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Music to Die For

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Apr 6, 2024

Film Reviews
Music to Die For
Directed by:
Rebecca Doherty
Written by:
Rebecca Doherty
James Doran, Deanna Ritchie, Nigel O'Neill, Jolene O'Hara

After a long time, two musicians remeet at a pub one night and discuss the fateful past.


It is night-time in Northern Ireland and Sean (Doran) and Eve (Ritichie) are entertaining a small crowd inside a pub. Sean is playing the piano, while Eve does the vocals with a microphone. The night appears to be calm and uneventful. Then Sean notices a person in the crowd who he recognises and the night takes quite a dramatic turn.


An emotional and powerful short that centers on a dramatic encounter that involves the Troubles and confronting a terrible past. The screenplay skilfully makes a transition from a light-hearted drama into a harsh story about a devastating incident that changed lives forever. Initially Sean and Eve are enjoying themselves while they perform and during breaks they chat about moving on to better things, how they view the audience and also touch on the Troubles. Then, the arrival of Tom (O'Neill) an old acquaintance of Sean significantly changes the atmopshere, leading to a conversation (or maybe more of a verbal confrontation) between the two men about a tragedy for which Sean believes that Tom is responsible.


Doran and O'Neill deliver superb performances and Sean and Tom make intriguing characters, two musicians who used to work together and have not seen each other for ages and the conflict between them is where the film is at its most dramatic. Sean is presented as the good guy, while Tom is (to some extent) the antagonist, although not a vile individual but rather a well-meaning person who made a grievous error.


The music is a big plus and the film almost feels like a musical due to the frequent numbers. Eve and Sean perform various times and the piano along with Eve's singing voice (which belongs to Jolene O'Hara) are rather pleasant and the contribution by Robert Peoples with the wonderful violin melodies adds significant value.


Visually, the film also triumphs thanks to the creative lighting and the terrific cinematography by Fiachra O'Longain.


This short is a drama about a brief encounter where the past returns to haunt two middle-aged men. It is a moving story about regrets, self-reflection and the suffering caused by the Troubles. The themes that are explored, along with the heavy drama, strong acting and beautiful score makes this film a commendable achievement.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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