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I Went Down Review

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Git (McDonald) is just out of clink, and already on the bad side of a local gangster (Doyle). He's sent on a weekend run down from Dublin to Cork to carry out some business with the not-so-able or particularly friendly Bunny (Gleeson). It's not going to be a smooth ride.

★★★★★

Although the title may be misconstrued by those with minds in the gutter, the movement in question is a long, eventful journey from Dublin to Cork and back again. Long because introverted Git Hynes (McDonald) and bullish, not-applying-to-MENSA-just-yet Bunny Kelly (Gleeson) are about as mismatched an odd couple as you could get; eventful because of the job in hand.

Git is having what could reasonably be described as a run of bad luck. Nine months' stir have seen him lose both liberty and love, and scant moments after release, he's fallen foul of polished gangster Tom French (Tony Doyle), while protecting hapless mate Anto (David Wilmot). To make amends, he's sent with Kelly to collect AWOL associate Frank Grogan (Caffrey). When this is eventually accomplished, however, it becomes rapidly clear that French and Grogan have unfinished businesses going way back, and if Git and Bunny learn the truth, it could be untimely demises all round.

Breathnach earned the New Director Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival for this blackly comic road movie crime caper, the debut feature offering from the Emerald Isle's Treasure Films. It's given a distinctive Irish tinge through clever scripting and modest, unshowy performances. Newcomer McDonald and the generously sideburned Gleeson (Braveheart, Turbulence) hit a fine line with the reluctant partners routine.

Told in episodic format, it hits and misses, scoring most successfully with a cracking woodland weapons training scene, but bogging down in a middle section that drains the narrative of the energy it had been building. The finale fires the tempo again though, bringing an agreeable conclusion to an unusual little movie, chipped with evident craft from obvious budget restraints.

While never scaling any great heights, there's lots of little points - and some bigger ones, like the pairing of the leads - to enjoy.

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