Rialto (2019) Movie Review

Director: Peter Mackie Burns

Writer: Mark O’Halloran (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan, Sophie Jo Wasson, Scott Graham, Michael Smiley

Plot: Colm is in his mid-forties, married, with two teenage children. Still grieving the death of his father, a destructive gure in his life, Colm struggles with his relationship to his own son, whilst at work a recent takeover threatens his job. Unable to share his vulnerability with his wife, Colm’s world is falling apart around him. In the midst of this crisis, Colm solicits sex from a young man called Jay. This encounter and his growing infatuation has a deep effect on Colm. He finds a comfort in Jay that no one else can provide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Rialto starts when Colm (Vaughan-Lawlor) starts going through a mid-life crisis, his father has just passed away, his is becoming distant from his wife and kids and he is about to lose his job at the docks where he has worked his whole life.

As Colm starts to struggle with putting his own life together he finds a young man Jay (Glynn-Carney) who are first is just offering him a different sexual experience, before becoming the only person he can turn to when his life starts falling apart even more.

Thoughts on Rialto

Characters & Performances – Colm is a man in his mid-40s, he has a family, job, home, everything you could want at his age. His life does start to take a downward spiral when his father dies, he starts to realize he has become distant from his family and then he loses his job. He doesn’t know who to turn to for help, finding himself drawn towards a gay hooker who he pays for company, find peace in an unlikely place. This character shows us just how hard life can become suddenly on people without seeing it coming. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is brilliant in this leading role, showing all the pain his character is going through, mixed with the confusion of how life has suddenly caught up with him. Jay is the gay hooker that Colm meets, he is defensive with his aggression in the world, being involved as a way to help raise his own child, he needs help but knows this is the only way he can make sure he can keep his baby safe. Tom Glynn-Carney plays this character very well too, giving us the character that is willing to be in a world where he knows it is for a bigger purpose. When it comes to the supporting characters we meet the family that don’t want much to do with Colm and his co-workers that are trying to be there for him.

StoryThe story here follows a middle-aged man that starts seeing his life falling apart around him, losing the stability he has built up and turning to a young man for help, the only place where he can start to feel comfortable in life. This is a story where we get to see how a normal working class person can see themselves fall into a routine, one that is comfortable and safe, which doesn’t prepare them for the changes that might hit suddenly. We see how people might have to turn to a place they would never have imagined for the comfort they need, showing us a mid-life crisis happening to the unsuspecting Colm.

ThemesRialto has us in Dublin, showing us the changes in area is going through, cutting back on jobs, seeing the unemployment going up to levels which can cause the strain on people, which is used as the backdrop to show us the struggles the character is going through.

Rialto is a powerful drama showing the harsh reality of a sudden mid-life crisis on the working class man.

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