DVD Review: Adam & Paul

Posted in Reviews on July, 20 2006 9:55 PM

Starring: Tom Murphy, Mark O'Halloran
Cert: 15

Adam (O'Halloran) and Paul (Murphy) are about to embark on the worst - yet possibly best - day of their lives.

The pair of them are whacked-out junkies trying scrape together a semblance of decorum to enable them to scrape together a bit of change to allow them to score a hit.

They wake up in an unknown dumpsite with Adam superglued to a mattress then proceed to mooch around Dublin following leads to the promise of drugs, seeking out old 'friends' in the hope of a handout, or trying their hands at petty thievery to finance their day.

Their first contact at the housing estate proves fruitless so they head into town and bump into people they know. One of their close friends has just died and there will be a wake for him later. It is obvious from the attitude of everyone present that the men are disliked immensely and eventually they get the message.

A muddled conversation with a homeless lad gives him the impression the men are out to get money back from someone called 'Clank' which then follows them around the rest of the day.

There's a failed shoplifting, car jacking and mugging and they stoop to extreme moral depths when they consider burglarising an old associate who has gone clean.

Then Clank catches up with them and forces them to be lookouts while he 'does over' a petrol station.

A random encounter gets them a stolen television which they try to sell on. Contacts direct them back to the housing estate from where they started and finally a score. The biggest score of their lives.

It is a testament to all-round excellent filmmaking that can make two overtly unrepentant and morally devoid individuals to be sympathetic characters and believable 'heroes'.

With a plot that lacks any specific story other than following two losers wandering around taking advantage of the weak, innocent, society and their friends; how could you like these guys? Because they are so pathetic that, even if 'like' is a bit strong, you can't help feeling a bit sorry for them.

Then there is the issue that everything that happens to them is brought on by their own deeds; it's comedy karma. As each illegal endeavour is undertaken, more misery befalls them. Well, befalls Paul, really, as he becomes the constant victim for physical assaults.

They are Irish, stoner versions of Laurel and Hardy. Their attempt to offload the stolen TV is reminiscent of the piano up the flight of stairs. With Adam as the 'ideas man', Paul follows orders as obediently as Stan Laurel did and ends up with egg on his face. These two can't do the simplest of things, like crossing a street without getting run over.

Adam and Paul's quest is accompanied by solid performances from their co-stars and excellent cinematography. The fimmaker manages to beautify the inner-city slums in one take whilst heighten the pair's drug imbued euphoria in the next.

Adam & Paul is a great film that invokes a plethora of mixed emotions throughout - humour, pity, despair and disgust - whilst not glorifying the seedy lifestyle they have plummeted to.

Special Features
Unfortunately, none. But as the main feature is that good then it's partially forgivable.


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