The Dublin Oldschool (2018),

Director: Dave Tynan.
Starring.Emmet Kirwan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake, Ian Lloyd Anderson. Ireland/UK. 1h 39m.

I assumed this was going to be more about older irish problems and feelings towards the British, maybe I’m still on a high after watching Black 47 (2018), but this is more of a cross between It’s all gone Pete Tong (2004) and Trainspotting (1996) but without that certain spark or energy instead it’s way more realistic (than Trainspotting) and totally poetic both in narrative and throughout it’s dialogue. There are many drug addicts here, some have succumbed and others literally only use it to enhance their recreation.

So this movie tells a story of Jason (Kirwan), an aspiring DJ who spends those few hours between drug field trips in the streets of Dublin, he stumbles on his educated and long time addicted brother Daniel (Anderson). The two subsequently bond and clash as they batter through their differences and in a strange Irish way, catch up with each other. Jason is determined to reach his goal at DJing a very special illegal rave while trying to win his ex back, this young man really has a lot on his plate and struggles every step of the way.

As much as the film has a lingering of Trainspotting there are major differences, it’s not a raw and nasty as the Scottish drug cult classic, but instead it has very sentimental and human touch to it. Most of the people get off their face on home made drugs, there more addicted to going out and partying than the drugs apart from Daniel, his action was isolated him from his family and his life on the streets is far from the life his music loving brother, his presence really changes the mood of the film, the brothers usually end up going at it hammer and tongs, huge blaring arguments in the streets, saying things that get their emotions of their chest but that neither are happy to hear. The presentation is often poignant and with the finger pointing and standing on benches, somewhere ameture shakespearien..

A lot of the film takes place in the actual streets, be it in a city centre, or just outside someone’s house, this social is all encompassing, the only rare intimate moments, monologues with poetry and love making are one of few in a secluded spot.

It feel like a modern version of the lifestyle described in Arab Straps classic, The First Big Weekend, a nostalgic look backwards while knowing that your making more memories, making some amends while making some mistakes, it’s a huge chapter for Jason future , and bigger challenge for his rejected brother and his dank past.

It’s filmed surprisingly well, I wouldn’t have thought that following the lives of pill popping clubbers could be anything quite so pretty (!?) especially the aftermath on the beaches and in the streets getting tormented by feral gaelic children while getting over a terrible hangover and then doing it all again. It’s really interesting to put faces, hopes and desires of this crowd. Jason’s character seems a little out of place, how can someone be so in touch while constantly blowing his consciousness away but grotty side of life isn’t really featured until the final few minutes when the brothers have a major revelation, but had too little come too late?

No matter how talented the cast and sensitive the story I just didn’t get pulled in, at least on my first watch but I’m up for another run through there’s enough here that I might have missed something.

Rating: 4/10

RTrainspotting (1996),

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