Two for the Road
Sep 24, 2023
Ewan Morris, Steve Wall
A boy and his father spend a weekend together, travelling around Ireland.
Oscar (Morria) is a schoolboy in Ireland during the 1990s and his parents are separated. He maintains bonds with his father (Wall) by spending time with him during weekends. This time, the two of them travel by car, exploring Ireland, relaxing and having fun. They go camping, go on a boat ride, do a bit of food shopping and play some football. All seems well and it is when they arrive at a pub that things turn negative.
Based on Lochlainn McKenna's original short story Guinness & Coke, this short drama tells an emotional story about the relationship between a man and his son. Initially, the atmosphere is joyful with the two of them happily spending quality time together and not long after their arrival at the pub, the father shows his bad side by getting drunk, being aggressive and inconsiderate about his child's well-being. Their time at the pub covers a large portion of the narrative, examining the man's flaws as a parent, the suffering they cause to his boy, the damage they do to their realtionship and finally revealing why they do not live together.
The story is told predominantly through Oscar's perspective and Morris delivers a heartbreaking performance as a child who clearly loves his dad but also falls victim to his irresponsibility. Wall's character is a man who shows signs that he wants to be a decent parent, however, simultaneously he is unable to control his drinking problem and Wall plays the part exceptionally.
McKenna deserves big commendations for the directing, with effectively captures the beauty of the landscapes. Director of photography Eoin McLoughlin also receives praise for the grainy cinematography that supports the dramatic scenes. Regarding the audio, composer Joe Robbins also makes a significant contribution with the music that includes piano melodies and the song Fisherman's Blues by The Waterboys was a splendid choice.
This short is partially a road movie, partially a father-and-son story and partially a commentary about alcoholism. The film shows the joys of parenthood and the emotional pain of neglect and tells a story about an unstable family relationship that may or may not have a future.