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3.1 out of 5 stars7
3.1 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 November 2013
Husband-and-wife team Joe Lawlor and Christine Molloy return with their second film `Mister John', starring Aidan Gillen as Gerry. He's had to travel to Singapore because his brother John had an untimely death.

Gerry has never been to see John in Singapore before, and in turn never met his wife Kim (Zoe Tay) and teenage daughter Sarah (Molly Rose Lawlor). The title of the film refers to the name of Johns bar, which Kim now has to run on her own. Gerry seems to have enough problems of his own, not least his dwindling relationship with his wife and daughter. Its an excuse that Gerry takes advantage of, the distraction of foreign climes and John's demise are at first enough to keep him occupied. He thrives on taking on the responsibility of standing in for John, he even wears John's clothes. Kim keeps her grief in check too, mostly to lessen the pain on her daughter.

`Mister John' is a clever film, and a very subtle one too. This beautifully shot film could have gone down many routes, but instead paints an opaque picture of a mans struggles within himself. Little is known about a lot of things, and you can't help but ask a lot of questions. Why had Gerry not seen John in such a long time? Why has his marriage broken down? Was John's death an accident? Is there more to John's business than we are shown? Who is Kim, and can she be trusted? None, and many others, go unanswered.

Rather than become frustrated by any lack of closure, you're fascinated with Gerry's passive acceptance of his troubles. Gerry does slowly reveal his impotence and vulnerability, issues which plague his relationship with his wife and brother. Its an incredibly subtle performance from the excellent Aidan Gillen, you witness a man who has finally come to terms with loss, and by doing so breaks down whatever wall was stopping him from moving on.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 27 February 2014
This is a film that is hard to place in a category so I will call it a drama. It is about the man in the title Mister John who has moved to Singapore where he has made a life for himself with a beautiful wife and child and a bar which is called, imaginatively enough - Mister John. Well the film starts with his death and his brother Gerry Devine (the excellent Aiden Gillen) has to go over there to sort out affairs. He seems to be happy to go as he is having some marital problems - these are revealed as the film progresses and are done in a really original way.

Meanwhile in Singapore he starts to warm to the charms of the place and the locals and the seemingly more laidback way of life. He also starts to get involved with the bar which seems to be selling a great deal more than cocktails, if you get my drift. So there are lots of beautiful young girls around the place who seem eager to make everyone have a `good time'. This is not a sexploitation film though, all of that is incidental, but in a country that is all smiles, booze and anything goes it is easy to see how ones head might get turned.

This is a slow drama that deals with a number of issues and definitely has a start and a middle the ending will be for the individual viewer to work out, but with all good things it is the journey as much as the destination that matters. Gillen is always excellent and he does not fail to disappoint here so a nice film, that will make you think but not too strenuously - this is one for those who like things a bit off the beaten track.
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on 14 April 2014
‘Helen', the debut of Irish directing duo Lawlor and Malloy was a subtle, offbeat and affecting story about grief and identity. Their second feature treads similar - perhaps too similar - ground. What's more, the basic component of the narrative - a man undertaking a personal journey in unfamiliar territory after the death of a brother - is also familiar: see 'Radio On' or 'Get Carter'.
Aiden Gillen - something of a go-to actor for indie directors (check out Jamie Thraves’ 'Treacle Jnr' for example) carries the film as Gerry. Confused, sweaty and jet-lagged, he leaves behind a troubled marriage to attend the funeral in Singapore of John, the hostess-bar-owning brother he hardly seems to know. John has drowned, but the circumstances, like much else in the film, are unclear. You may feel this is laziness on the part of the directors/writers or you may feel it adds a satisfying narrative ambiguity. The film is definitely thoughtful and thought-provoking: Gerry’s problems with his unfaithful wife (again, their nature is unoriginal) are highlighted by numerous oblique episodes throughout the film (including being bitten by a snake whose venom gives him a three-day erection), and at times he seems to want to escape himself, become John, and in so doing fill the holes in his own life as well as in the lives of John’s family and friends. It is also measured and in parts highly moving (quite why the Telegraph’s critic labelled it a thriller, I have no idea) but unfortunately also feels oddly second-hand.
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on 6 October 2014
A film that has been much neglected and its truly a shame. Aiden Gillen is exceptionally good, and it feels like one of those performances that make reputations. Its slow, there is little to no action, but it is utterly engrossing. In a sense it reminds me a bit of Timeout (cantet) in that the real story is one that is always off screen. Very worth seeing.
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on 14 April 2014
Slow brooding and excellant are 3 words to sum this up. Gillen is excellant as he uncovers secrets of his brothers death and secrest about his brother he never knew. The direction is great and the back drop sumptious
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on 18 June 2014
Watching paint dry was more exciting that this film. Life is too short

Giving this one star is three too many ! The most enjoyment was giving the rating
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on 24 March 2014
I do not know why anyone could give this film 4 stars. My wife and i watched it painfully to the end, then wondered what it was all about. I have to say that this film was rubbish to the extream
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