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LFF review – ’71

’71

Directed by Yann Demange

Written by Gregory Burke

Starring Jack O’Connell, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris

The Belfast depicted in this exciting new British thriller is a city spiralling out of control so fast that none of the factions involved have a handle on the situation.

’71 opens in deceptively generic fashion with a standard basic training sequence of the kind seen in film’s that seek to mythologise the experience of the soldier (see Lone Survivor from earlier this year). While the training looks uncomfortable in the extreme it is also the stuff of recruitment adverts. The sequence introduces nominal ‘hero’ Private Gary Hook (O’Connell). We learn a few key things about the character, he is from the North and grew up in care with a younger brother who sees him as a surrogate father. He is earthy, working class, enjoys a game of footie, but that is about as much depth as we are given. Continue reading

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