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on 19 August 2017
As a fan of actor Cillian Murphy only since Peaky Blinders and back, I was a bit hesitant about watching this 2001 film (based on the play by Enda Walsh which actually kicked off his stage acting career), in which he plays a 16 year old approaching his 17th birthday. As it turns out, it was like watching where Thomas Shelby and all his other performances stemmed from. The movie is dramatic and theatrical, in keeping with its origin, and it works well, given that Pig (Murphy) and Runt (Elaine Cassidy) have created their own world from their birth day onward. While I couldn't catch some lines because of Pig's very broad Cork accent, little was lost in meaning or significance and along with the fact that the two have also maintained the childlike language that they evolved when they were small, it emphasises how separate particularly Pig is from the world of other people. They're a wayward pair, but we see how Runt's closeness to Pig is her haven from an abusive father, while Pig, whose mother seems to be laissez-faire with him, has become increasingly and scarily violent. His tendency towards rage has become amplified by frustration and rejection on his sexual awakening when he realises how lovely Runt is and has overwhelming feelings for her, which she does not share. Even worse, the jealousy accompanying these feelings is impossible for him to control or ultimately bear, so the outcome for him is inevitably tragic. Murphy's performance as the angsty gangly youth who cannot deal with what effectively is a break-up, is absolutely riveting, even disturbing in its intensity, a bit reminiscent of On the Edge, also 2001, so I shouldn't have had any doubts. This movie for me is all about the auspicious early career of a superb actor and I'm glad I delayed watching it till now!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 October 2017
First off, one small little criticism of the DVD: There is no subtitle option. While the sound quality is very good throughout, the strong Cork accent of the two leads, which is appropriate and perfectly charming, may be difficult to understand for some viewers. However, unless you have significant hearing problems, don't be put off by this. The dialogue and the several lengthy monologues are delivered very clearly, almost theatrically.

The film is based on the play of the same title by Enda Walsh who also adapted it for the screen. It tells the story of Pig (played by Cillian Murphy who had already played the character on the stage some 5 years earlier) and Runt (played by Elaine Cassidy), two teenagers born on the same day in the same hospital and growing up as next door neighbours. They are childhood friends, buddies, class mates, soul mates. And partners in crime. In the days leading up to their 17th birthday, Pig starts experiencing feelings of a sexual nature for Runt and his love for her becomes an all-consuming obsession, while she wants to break free and explore other relationships. With no support coming forth from their dysfunctional families, neither can find a way to express their feelings in a safe way and learn to deal with them. Especially the volatile Pig becomes increasingly violent in his frustration.

This film is a bleak and very intense drama that hurtles its way to the inescapable end. There is very little by way of comic relief. Only one short scene in the school headmaster's office may elicit a chuckle at the headmaster's blatant lack of political correctness. And even this scene is quite heart rending, bringing it home just how little hope there is for Pig, who's been written off as beyond the reach of help by the very people who should be striving to help him become a responsible adult. And while this may be uncomfortable watching for much of the time, the acting is top notch. Elaine Cassidy is lovely as Runt and Cillian Murphy is absolutely sensational as Pig. The intensity with which he delivers especially his monologues is astounding. Very memorable are the short dreamlike scenes of the lead characters as king and queen.

If you're looking for a bit of light entertainment, this is probably not the film for you. The story is harrowing and there is no wholesome or fluffy Hollywood ending tucked on to the rather bleak play to make the film appealing to a wider audience. Great viewing if you're willing to be challenged and a treat for any fan of either of the leads. Extra bonus for Cillian Murphy fans: One of the songs playing during the end credits is written and performed by the actor himself.
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on 27 April 2014
Where to start with this wonderful movie? Two young people, born on the same day, living next door to each other, watching each other's backs, laughing and crying and growing up together. Sounds idyllic but it takes its toll. Their relationship is so intense that it is absolutely dysfunctional. Their journey is laid out for all to see in this film. The script is beautiful, poetry in many places, especially when the two are speaking to each other.
I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see something they thought they might not like. I did that. And I loved it.
It does contain some disturbing and violent scenes.
The two main stars, Elaine Cassidy and Cillian Murphy, complement each other's performances perfectly.
Elaine Cassidy is amazing as Sinead (Runt). She is stunningly beautiful and plays the part of Runt with a slight understatement, which makes her, in my eyes, the true star of this movie.
Cillian Murphy is Darren (Pig). He is protective to the point of madness and Mr Murphy does madness very well.
Would recommend this with 10 stars if I could.
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on 17 January 2017
I must have missed something here. Yes the acting was top draw, but the storyline dragged and i didn't really care for any of the characters. It all felt a bit pretentious and arty. Not for me unfortunately even though i think Cillain Murphy is great.
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on 17 June 2015
Astonishingly touching. Unique. Acting superb. Soundtrack great.
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on 12 May 2015
moving study of emerging teenage sexual desires. acting, especially by Cillian Murphy, is excellent.
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on 17 March 2015
Bought as a gift
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on 26 May 2013
You can read it on its DVD box - and that is right.
Great performances, unique story.
Thank you Kirsten Sheridan, Elaine Cassidy, Cillian Murphy!
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on 22 October 2015
Enda Walsh is amazing - and I am years behind finding that out. Strange, bizarre, but wonderful film.
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on 24 August 2006
I bought this film after reading several reviews and thought it a pity that I hadn't seen the theatre production; however, I wasn't disappointed with my purchase. There is some very good acting and the story really draws you in. There are moments when you think you could be watching a theatre performance rather than a film but again this should not put you off. It has typical moments of happiness and in some cases extreme sadness and it will affect you more than you think. Very good.
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