Route Irish (15)

Directed by Ken Loach
Written by Ken Loach and Paul Laverty
On general release nationwide from March 18th, 2011

Reviewed by Michelle McKay

The backdrop to this movie is the conflict in Iraq, but it is best described as a murder mystery. A former soldier-turned-private contractor can't accept that his lifelong friend was just in the "wrong place, wrong time" and he sets about discovering the truth and the lengths people in power go to, to cover up atrocities committed by those who are answerable to nobody.

Liverpool is the setting, and is well-represented both by cast and locations. Mark Womack, probably best known for cop drama television series Liverpool One is superb as brooding Fergus, who is unable to put the war and everything he has experienced behind him but carries it inside, and is like a powder keg waiting to explode as the story unfolds and he wreaks revenge. Comedian John Bishop, in his first movie, plays the jovial Frankie and certainly reveals a side that we haven't seen before. Special mention goes to Craig Lundberg, a former soldier blinded in Iraq in 2007, who makes his acting debut and brings great authenticity and warmth of character to his role.

This movie is up to Ken Loach's usual high standards. Thought-provoking narrative exposes the futility of war and the way it is exploited by Big Business, with people as a commodity that will be disposed of without ceremony if they get in the way of profit.
Interview with Talib Razool (who plays the translator in the film)

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