Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Parked: Not a Traveler
Daly’s car is nothing special, but it is still bigger than some Manhattan
studios. Still, it has to be death on
his back to sleep there. Unfortunately,
the man has no choice. Yet, the arrival
of an irresponsible new neighbor in his car-park might spur him to make some
changes in Darragh Byrne’s Parked (trailer here), which opens
today in New York.
is not a bad guy, but he is reserved and stand-offish. In contrast, Cathal O’Regan is a friendly,
outgoing junkie. Before long, he has
Daly attending water aerobics at the local sports center and stepping up his
efforts to get relief (he has no permanent address, which is a major hang-up
for Irish welfare agencies). He is also haltingly
pursuing Jules, a middle-aged Finnish expat music teacher and choir director. Both shy and proud, Daly is a bit reluctant
to admit to her he lives in a car-park (as they call them in the UK). However, efforts to publicize his predicament
may force his hand. Meanwhile,
happy-go-lucky O’Regan is self-destructing like the heroin addict he is.
triumph-over-adversity film about a man trying to get on the dole would have to
be an Irish-Scandinavian co-production, which indeed Parked is. Still, it is an
appealingly straight forward and understated portrayal of redemption, without a
lot of phony sentiment gumming up the works.
In fact, it is a great star vehicle for Colm Meaney. While he has made a career out of playing
grouchy Irishmen, Daly’s dignity and vulnerability elevates him well beyond a
traditional stock character. Shrewdly, Parked implies much about his history
but reveals little.
is nicely complimented by a small but effective ensemble. As O’Regan, Colin Morgan is tragically convincing
both turning on the charm and depicting the twitchy reality of addiction. Stuart Graham also wisely resists false
theatrics as O’Regan’s exhausted father in his limited but memorable scenes. However, Milka Ahlroth is a bit underwhelming
as Daly’s potential love interest.
Parked is a modest film
with a straight-off-the-shelf consumer digital camera look. Nevertheless, it features an impressive lead
performance from Meaney and even presents religion in a positive light. Balancing heart and street smarts, Parked is recommended for fans of Irish
cinema when it opens today (11/30) in New York at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Colm Meaney, Irish Cinema