Customer Review

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The clue is in the name, 15 Jun 2014
This review is from: Quirke [DVD] (DVD)
That forms the title of this slow burning but ultimately fulfilling mini-series, based on the books by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville). The eponymous Quirke lives up to his name, as played by Gabriel Byrne: haunted and troubled by the kind of early life experiences only at first hinted at but gradually, as the series progresses, revealed in all their sordid glory.

Quirke, the errant prodigal son of a prominent Dublin judge, (Michael Gambon) is a pathologist who becomes a little too interested in the erstwhile lives of his horizontal clients. His delving into areas that, ostensibly, are not his concern, soon brings him into conflict with powerful interests that are closer to home than he could possibly have imagined.

This is a dark, brooding but evocative trip to fifties Dublin and the murky world of the Catholic Church where secrets unearthed bring to light the full truth of its suffocating, corrosive, stultifying and all pervasive influence on the lives of its captives.

The look is appropriately (n)oirish, the characters outlandish and Byrne brings to Quirke's tormented soul an oddly impish quality that offsets, what might otherwise be considered, the somewhat hackneyed traits of the alcoholic, which adds to the character's allure.

For me it doesn't quite hit the Nordic Noir spot - but it's not far off!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jul 2014 07:32:25 BDT
If you hadn't made a comparison against Nordic productions, how would you rate it please?
It doesn't need to be compared does it, just appraised on its own merits?
Curious to know if you'd award 5 stars or still 4, without the comparison.
I've read some of the books. I usually like Gabriel Byrne's acting abilities. His physical appearance does not resemble the Quirke of the books, and at first we thought Gambon would have more Quirke-y physical characteristics.
Thanks for the review.
Thanks.

Posted on 9 Jul 2014 11:09:49 BDT
Timelord-007 says:
A very well written review.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2014 22:22:03 BDT
OTBS - I'd rate it 4 stars which, according to Amazon, correlate with 'I like it' rather than 5 stars = 'I love it'.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Jul 2014 22:22:41 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 10 Jul 2014 22:23:06 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2014 01:21:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2014 01:22:53 BDT
Hi and thankyou, The star rating is explained by amazon, (like it, love it, etc.) but my curiosity was about : if you hadn't compared it to Nordic Noir, how would you have rated the probramme, without the comparison.
I'll have to assume you'd give it 4/5 without the comparison then, thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2014 09:43:43 GMT
OTBS - Following another conversation on the subject of Quirke it struck me that I had, indeed, been influenced by my earlier viewing of The Bridge and had made a comparison between the two and by comparison Quirke was found wanting - but only slightly. I'm going to watch the Quirkes again now!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Dec 2014 21:52:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 7 Dec 2014 21:54:21 GMT
Having watched the series now, we found it wanting. Byrne seemed unable to successfully transfer the character Quirke from the book to the screen, and his acting was rather bland, and he seemed to have been a poor choice for the character. He's not riveting at the best of times. This is definitely a series about a family more than crime procedural, which comes to the fore more than in the books, probably due to the simple fact that it's there in front of our eyes, and films are condensed versions of books.
Enjoyable but somewhat bland entertainment, I'd have to vote it 50/50.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2014 08:35:10 GMT
I've not read the books yet and so I have nothing with which to compare the adaptation but my question to you would be similar to yours to me: should an adaptation be compared to the original material bearing in mind that many viewers, like me, will be coming to it free from any preconceptions?

In other words how objective is it possible to be in order to evaluate the 'film' version on its own merits? Not having read the books I had not formed an impression of Quirke and felt Byrne was excellent in the role.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2014 20:50:44 GMT
Yes, of course, you're quite correct. Always we try and enjoy a show as if we had never read the book, but, can't be helped because it can creep in to our heads. Byrne's performance, I/we felt, was bland and un-engaging. He was the same in other works he's been the main actor in. In the books, Quirke's character was not shown as weak as in the tv show. It's all good, and I must say, this discussion has been a pleasure, thankyou.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2014 22:54:07 GMT
Agreed - happy viewing!
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