Review of Irish Film at Galway Film Fleadh: Tiger Raid

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Conn Holohan checks out Simon Dixon’s Tiger Raid,  which screened at Galway Film Fleadh 2016.

Tiger Raid opens with a beautifully expansive tracking shot through a darkened desert landscape, framing a solitary military jeep as it races across the sand. For a few moments the soundtrack is silent, and then the somewhat incongruous sounds of two Irish voices arguing about the Good Friday Agreement puncture the desert air. These opening moments capture both the potential and the problems with Simon Dixon’s adaption of Radio Luxembourg, a stage play by Mayo playwright Mick Donnellan. The shift in location of the titular Tiger kidnapping from small-town Ireland to an unnamed location in the Middle East provides the director Dixon and cinematographer Si Bell with the kind of striking settings that we witness in these opening shots. These are used to good effect: the sweeping sand-filled landscapes and white-washed Arab towns remain eerily deserted, conveying the sense that the film’s characters inhabit some moral netherworld in which the usual rules of human behavior no longer apply. However, once we enter the confined spaces where the action unfolds: a military jeep, the windowless living room of the hostage’s house, a deserted warehouse, it is clear that we are in very familiar territory. This is the world of the maladjusted Irish male, whose philosophical ruminations, pseudo or otherwise, can barely mask the depths of his dysfunction. We know this won’t end well.

The story concerns two Irish mercenaries en route to kidnap the daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Joe (Brian Gleeson) is the more battle-weary of the two, yet remains absolutely devoted to Dave, the shadowy off-screen figure who directs their criminal operation. Paddy (Damien Molony) is brash and confident, yet not devoid of reflection. He seems willing to defy Dave’s orders, yet his motivations and intentions turn out to be perhaps the more complex of the two. The kidnap of Shadha (Sofia Boutella) becomes a moment of truth for both characters as they confront their own pasts and the nature of their relationships to Dave, to the people that they love, and to violence.

The biggest difficulty that the film faces is that these characters, and the scenario in which we encounter them, remain fundamentally theatrical. Despite the opening out of the action, the rules of the game remain defined by the stage: there are two men in a room, and beyond it there is nothing but the images that they conjure. The malevolent presence of Dave, who haunts the minds of Joe and Paddy like some Irish Keyser Soze, is itself a theatrical device. We are under no illusions as to whether Dave will ever actually arrive onscreen to mete out punishment or reward. Joe and Paddy’s world is hermetically sealed: it is a theatre of the soul. The stylishly theatrical language with which the characters probe and test each other’s hard-man exterior serves to heighten the action, lifting it out of the everyday of criminal exchange, yet its tenor jars with the inherent realism of the cinematic image and leaves the audience wanting to escape these stifling rooms, out to the expanse of world that lies beyond.

The upshot of all this is that, despite the impressive central performances, and moments of real cinematic tension and directorial flair, Tiger Raid ultimately struggles to escape its origins and fails to provide sufficient action or invention to fully justify its transition to the big screen.

 

Tiger Raid screened on Thursday, 7th July 2016 as part of the Gaway Film Fleadh.

 

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Competition: Win ‘Tiger Raid’ Premiere Tickets & Goodies

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The tense new Irish thriller Tiger Raid starring Brian Gleeson (Rebellion), Damien Molony (Kill Your Friends), and Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond) premieres at the Galway Film Fleadh next week.

The film follows two Irish mercenaries working in a private security crew in the Middle East.  They have been assigned to kidnap the daughter of a powerful man as part of a major robbery – a Tiger Raid.  One of them has a brutal and unrepentant view of the world, defined by fear and adoration of their invisible but omnipresent boss while the other is recklessly ambitious, hungry to progress through the ranks of the crew.  As the raid progresses, their frenzied world turns in on itself as past misdeeds come to the surface

Tiger Raid is a revelatory journey into the dark hearts of men, full of twists, shocks and surprises, driven by the savage poetry of its dialogue and a breakout performance from Brian Gleeson.

Both the film’s director Simon Dixon and lead actor Brian Gleeson will attend the Galway Film Fleadh screening of Tiger Raid, which takes place in the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday 7th July at 10pm.

Thanks to our lovely friends at Wildcard Distribution, we have a fantastic prize to giveaway of two tickets to the Irish premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh plus two  bags and a fab poster.

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To be in with a chance of winning answer the following question:

Who directed Tiger Raid?

Email your answer to filmireland@gmail.com by 1pm Wednesday, 6th July when the Film Ireland hat will kidnap all entrants and select a winner.

Tickets for Tiger Raid can be purchased on the Galway Film Fleadh website http://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/index.php/project/tiger-raid/

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Irish Thriller ‘Tiger Raid’ to Have Irish Premiere at Galway Film Fleadh

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Galway audiences will be the first to see new Irish thriller Tiger Raid when it has its Irish premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh on Thursday 7th July.

The film which stars Brian Gleeson (Rebellion), Damien Molony (Kill Your Friends), and Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond) is based on the Galway native Mick Donnellan’s stage play ‘Radio Luxembourg’.  Donnellan co-wrote the screenplay with director Simon Dixon and producer Gareth Coulam Evans.

The film follows two Irish guys working in a private security crew in the Middle East.  They have been assigned to kidnap the daughter of a powerful man as part of a major robbery – a Tiger Raid.  One of them has a brutal and unrepentant view of the world, defined by fear and adoration of their invisible but omnipresent boss while the other is recklessly ambitious, hungry to progress through the ranks of the crew.  As the raid progresses, their frenzied world turns in on itself as past misdeeds come to the surface.

The film had its world premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and also screened at the A-list Edinburgh Film Festival earlier this month.

Both the director Simon Dixon and lead actor Brian Gleeson will attend the Galway Film Fleadh screening which takes place in the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday 7th July at 10pm.
The film was produced by Dixon Baxi Evans in the UK with Samson Films (Once) in Ireland with funding from the Irish Film Board.
Tickets for Tiger Raid can be purchased on the Galway Film Fleadh website  http://www.galwayfilmfleadh.com/index.php/project/tiger-raid/
Keep up to date with Tiger Raid on Twitter @TigerRaidFilm

 

Check out our preview of all the Irish films screening at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh

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