Lisa Dempsey checks out Tarrac, directed by Declan Recks, written by Eugene O’Brien and produced by Clíona Ní Bhuachalla.

We have been absolutely blessed with some amazing Irish language films the past few years and Tarrac is another one to add to that list. It is a wonderful portrayal of female friendship and unity, set on the gorgeous backdrop of the Kerry coast line. 

Aoife Ni Bhraoin (Kelly Gough) returns home to help her father (Lorcan Cranitch) in his recovery from a heart attack.  While back home in Kerry, Aoife faces her grief from her mothers untimely death and is confronted with her feelings surrounding her relationship with her father. Aoife reignites her love for rowing, reconnecting with an all female team of rowers who against the odds, take on a high stakes Naomhóg rowing competition.

This ensemble cast has such excellent chemistry that brings so much life to the film. Each performance is amazing but it must be noted that Lorcan Cranitch’s performance as the tough and hardworking Brendan ‘The Bear’ O’Briain is stunning. He completely captivates every scene he is in and brings incredible depth to his character, making the audience feel for this man who could’ve so easily fallen into the tropes of the “old Irish Da”. 

Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Kate Finegan and Rachel Feeney, who play Jude, Aisling and Naomi respectively, are wonderful as Aoife’s rowing mates. These characters go beyond comic relief or merely supporting cast, they are fully fledged out complicated women with pasts and backgrounds which inform and effect their opinions and beliefs, something which so many films fail to achieve for its women.

The production design is beautiful, from Naomi’s caravan, to Aoife’s mothers shed, to the gorgeous backdrop of the Kerry coast; every single location in this film is a joy to watch and just absolutely beautiful.

This family drama is a wonderful depiction of how family is not always something you’re born into but something that can be made. It just makes you feel good.

Tarrac is in cinemas from 6th October 2023.


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