(Nichola Burley in Jump)
DIR: Kieron J. Walsh • WRI: Steve Brookes, Kieron J. Walsh • PRO: Brendan J. Byrne, Katie Holly • DES: David Craig • DOP: David Rom • ED: Emer Reynolds • Cast: Nichola Burley, Martin McCann, Charlene McKenna
Directed by Kieron J. Walsh, Jump is a visually stunning and much more local alternative to the traditional New Year’s Eve ensemble film. The screening at the packed Town Hall Theatre on Friday July 13th was attended by a number of the cast and crew who donned the stage after basking in a warm reception for a quick Q & A.
The film opens with Greta (Nichola Burley), an unhappy youth who’s debating whether or not to throw herself off the Derry Peace Bridge after an eventful New Year’s Eve. Through some clever, non-linear storytelling the disastrous incidents of the night in question are revealed. Party-girls Marie and Dara are left with a lot more to deal with than their resolutions after a car accident; Frank Feeney and his thugs go in search of the perpetrator of a raid, and the star-crossed Greta and Pearse form an unlikely alliance.
Jump is a bittersweet, highly-dramatic film, awash with that grave, black humour that Northern Ireland does so superbly. The cast are all fantastic (and lifted from the cast of RTÉ’s Raw as it seems) however some of the supporting actors are underdeveloped. It would have been great to spend more screen time with Pearse and Marie (Martin McCann and Charlene McKenna), but that’s in no way a deal-breaker. Jump moves fast and gels nicely.
Also a triumph for the Tourist Board, as Derry has never looked so sexy.