Belfast – Simply Amazing
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Kenneth Branagh (Screenplay)
Starring: Jude Hill, Lewis McAskie, Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Ciaran Hinds
Plot: A young boy and his working-class Belfast family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Belfast starts as we meet young Buddy (Hill) growing up in Belfast in 1969, where he finds himself in the middle of the conflict between the Protestant and Catholic people who are not happy about being around each other, being able to mix.
As his Ma (Balfe) and Pa (Dornan) struggle to come to the best decision for the family, while the dangerous situation continues to spiral out of control, while everything seen through the eyes of young Buddy.
Thoughts on Belfast
Characters & Performances – Buddy in the young boy that is seeing the conflicts in Belfast first-hand, while keeping his innocent nature of just wanting to grow up, have his first love in school and learning from his grandparents. As he isn’t sure about what the problems are, he finds himself getting dragged into the conflict. Jude Hill is fantastic in his role, bringing all the innocence to the role. Ma and Pa are facing their own problems with money, wanting to make sure they are keeping their children safe and don’t get caught up in the middle of conflict. Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe are both wonderful too. It might have been nice to see more from the older brother Will, as he doesn’t seem to have much connect to what Buddy is doing on an everyday life. Granny and Pop are always around to offer advice to Buddy, while showing their pure love for their whole life. Judi Dench and Ciaran Hinds are excellent together through the movie, leaving you with a smile in their scenes.
Story – Belfast is a story that will show the conflicts in Belfast through the eyes of a young boy that doesn’t understand the problems, while being educated from the different people in his life. Belfast is a story that will give us conflict getting involved in, while balancing it with the everyday growing up of the young boy, having a story that will show both the peace and conflict in the matter of moments, making you worried about every moment in the film, just like the parents would have been. While this might well be a fictional story, the number of people left in the conflict to make the difficult decision on what they will do in clear to be seen.
Themes – Belfast is a drama that will use the Belfast setting to show the close-knit communities that are built up, where the people for the most part don’t care about the religious beliefs, while others see them as the enemies. When we do get the moments of violence, we get a chaotic feel throughout them, with the pure terror young Buddy finds himself going through.
Final Thoughts – Belfast is amazing coming of age tale, with a terrifying backdrop.