Adam and Paul DVD
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Directed by Leonard Abrahamson
Produced in 2004
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - European Film
Friends since they were small boys, Adam and Paul have withered into two hapless, desperate Dublin junkies, tied together by habit and necessity. A stylized, downbeat comedy, the film follows the pair through a single day, which like every other, is entirely devoted to the business of scrounging and robbing money for drugs. The difference today is that Adam and Paul, already rock bottom, have finally run out of luck, credit and friends.
Laced with humour, but showing a grim side to the Irish capital, this is a highly impressive feature debut from Dublin-born director Leonard Abrahamson.
Length: 83 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 widescreen
Cat No: EPDDVD16
Format: DVD Colour
- Commentaries: Leonard Abrahamson (Director), Mark O'Halloran (Writer)
by Mike McCahill on 21st April 2006
Here’s a gag for you: a film which opens on flowers in full bloom - vibrant, colourful, blossoming - and then cuts to two heroin addicts, one of whom is glued to a bed... Read on
Here’s a gag for you: a film which opens on flowers in full bloom - vibrant, colourful, blossoming - and then cuts to two heroin addicts, one of whom is glued to a bedspread, in a field outside a council estate in the middle of nowhere. There follows a grimly funny - but funny - odyssey, premised on our heroes’ quest for their next hit.
Adam & Paul is a symphony of greys and greens, crisply shot by director Lenny Abrahamson and director of photography James Mather, with sometimes only Adam and Paul’s red and blue tracksuits to pick them out from the bleakness of their surrounds. Some have compared these two to Vladimir and Estragon; methinks they’re more Laurel and Hardy, especially given actor Tom Murphy (who plays Paul)’s facial resemblance to Stan at his most put-upon.
But it’s also there in the plotting and set-ups: this is that comedy which appreciates just how hard it can be to get even the simplest of tasks (ordering a pot of tea in a café; sitting down on a park bench) done, especially when distracted. Co-star Mark O’Halloran’s script also understands how getting high really can’t get you anywhere; how eventually it just plonks you down in the same place as before.
O’Halloran throws in at least one scene - Adam and Paul mugging a boy with Downs Syndrome - which gets us into tricky comic territory, not least because it suggests addiction might be no laughing matter at a point in the point in the film where we’ve started to warm to the two leads. You have to admire the Irish Film Board for backing a thin-ice project like this: Trainspotting, one suspects, was only greenlit after it certain a bestselling novel could be brought to the screen by a commercially hot director. (Even then, no national film institution was likely to fund a movie about junkies and thieves.)
Abrahamson wins points for casting actors who, with all due respect, actually look like heroin addicts, and he deserves some kind of an award for his perfect street-level mise-en-scène: fridge freezers abandoned like lost souls, a shopping trolley turned on its side, graffiti by “Darren”, “Mongo” and “Wayne”. Against all the odds, an unlikely comedy triumph. Hide