2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Mullan does it again! Disturbing, violent and highly emotionally-charged. Brilliant.,
This review is from: NEDS [DVD] (DVD)
Mullan as director coaxes incredible performances out of his actors once again in a film that summons the terror and confusion of a child entering the gladiatorial arena of adolescence. Mullan himself gives a great performance as the boy's father, appearing sometimes so darkly unhinged that it makes for uncomfortable viewing.
Special mention must go to the mesmerising acting talent of Stephen McCole, who has starred in all of Mullan's feature films. Here, he gives a great performance as a young teacher who takes no stick, but clearly cares for his students, presenting a realistic, non-sentimental glimmer of compassion in an otherwise hostile landscape. The young actors - Conor McCarron and Greg Forrest - who play younger and older John McGill are both also exceptional in their performances and I hope to see more of their impressive screen acting in the future.
Mullan as writer certainly plays with our sympathies for John, waxing and waning with every assault that occurs, whether it be from his father, a gang of neds, or inflicted by his own hand upon himself Neds is a film that is wild, idiosyncratic and dangerous, but also crafted, subtle and deeply moving. See it, but keep your mind and heart wide open, or you may miss the magic.