Feulner’s Films

A Less Than Compelling Case


Robbie Feulner, Staff Writer

The 1993 film, In the Name of the Father, directed by Jim Sheridan, follows the true story of Gerry Conlon (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his imprisonment after being accused of taking part in the IRA bombing of a London pub in 1974. Although this movie has some good moments, mostly in the beginning, I had a difficult time getting invested in Gerry and his father, Guiseppe Conlon (Pete Postlewaite). As other characters are introduced, I had pushed aside the constant bickering and annoying tendencies of Gerry and his father, hoping for dynamic change by the end of the film.  However, this did not happen as Gerry and Guiseppe’s relationship never improved or evolved despite multiple ‘heart-wrenching’ moments that the two experienced in jail.

Although I disliked the main characters, the supporting cast was much more engaging and allowed me to continue watching the movie without frustration. Gareith Pierce (Emma Thompson), plays her role as the optimistic lawyer well, yet her introduction came much too late in the movie and the viewer never felt her presence until the end of the film. The beginning scene of the movie did a great job in introducing our characters as it mixes action, violence, and quick wit to personify Gerry as a kid looking for a fight and introducing the historical turmoil between the Irish and English.

As for the cinematography, I thought Sheridan could have done much more visually with the explosions and jail scenes as those were the main focus of the movie. Throughout the film, there were no elements of comic relief and no true break from the solemn mood of Gerry’s false accusation. The final scene felt very underwhelming as the logistics of it seemed completely arbitrary and must’ve been a variation from the action court case. Even the way they portrayed the groundbreaking evidence just seemed cheap courtroom trick and was completely unverifiable. The final scene, although nice to see Gerry finally receive justice, feels rushed and cliche. This movie earned seven Academy Awards, but I just don’t see how; by the end of the movie I had to force myself to watch and constantly checked how much time remained. I still think this film has importance as it gives insight to the political tension known as “The Troubles” between the Irish and English however you may be bored by slow pace of the story.

You can watch In the Name of the Father free on “Xfinity On Demand”.

Final score: 3/5