- Gareth Crook
I remember recording this on the telebox years ago and having it sit on the planner for months before eventually deleting it unwatched. What a bloody stupid thing to do, giving up. No one gives up in 71. Whichever side you think is good or bad, this is a seriously intense depiction of the troubles in Ireland. Jack O’Connell plays a young British soldier abandoned on the streets of Belfast after a perceived simple botched mission. It’s terrifyingly brutal, gunfire and bombs, not the Hollywood kind, but single shots in the face and explosions in pubs that blow the arms off children. The score and camera are so effective, you find yourself tighten as the minutes pass by in what is a simple story, with a lot of underlying twists that winds up in a general sickening mess. Yes there are sides, but the film blurs them and doesn’t take sides. If anything it’s anti-conflict full stop, “Posh c&nts, telling thick c&nts, to kill poor c&nts”. No happy endings, no enlightenment to reason, no answers. Just a sinking into darkness. The film is great. Fighting isn’t.