Out next week in cinemas is writer and actor Emmet Kirwan’s play to film adaptation Dublin Oldschool. Directed by Dave Tynan and co-starring Ian Lloyd Anderson, Sarah Greene, and Seána Kerslake.
Dublin Oldschool is a snapshot of a person’s life living it up in Dublin trying to have the best and most epic experience they can have while they’re still young and beautiful. This story, in particular, is about Jason (Kirwan) a guy living from session to session trying to stay away from the comedown that will eventually happen to him when the party ends. The film is structured over the course of a Bank Holiday weekend where Jason begins to reconnect with his estranged brother Daniel (Anderson), try to figure out where he stands with his ex-girlfriend Gemma (Kerslake) who is leaving for London, and have an epic session where he will hopefully live his dream and DJ for an epic session.
I adored Dublin Oldschool. The characters in this film are what make it so endearing, Jason is fascinating, he’s a young man trying to stop the inevitability of time with the copious amounts of drugs he uses. It’s like he is trying to artificially preserve himself in a state of permanent youth where he is shielded from responsibility. It’s something everyone can feel a kinship with especially with the times we’re living in here in Ireland. Combine this character journey with the engrossing acting of Emmet Kirwan himself and you’re on this ride with him from beginning to end.
Joining him is a great supporting cast, Ian Lloyd Anderson is by his side once more from the stage version of Dublin Oldschool (from where this film draws its source material). He plays Daniel, Jason’s older brother, who has returned from a self-imposed exile. Their chemistry together is brilliant, and they have one particularly heartbreaking scene together that brought a tear to my eye. Anderson isn’t the only character where sparks fly with Jason. His ex-girlfriend Gemma (Kerslake) is a fascinating character that gives a deeper peek into what Jason could become if he got his act together and figured his s**t out.
Director Dave Tynan has shaped an unapologetic look at Dublin, even though the days are sunny and gorgeous most of the time our protagonist and his friends are shying away in houses and dingy alleyways as they take drug after drug to artificially enhance the beauty of their lives. They are also nocturnal creatures only ever seeing the mornings after all-night sessions and missing most of the day. And if they are awake during the day it’s through a haze of recovering from the night before.
There is also a wonderful element utilised with the audience being given the inner thoughts of Jason with an inner monologue. These sections inserted into the film were fascinating artistic choices but about half of them came off as somewhat pretentious. Other than this hiccough the writing in Dublin Oldschool is brilliantly fluid and flows superbly, and is a testament to the talent of Emmet Kirwan and Dave Tynan who helped him adapt his work from the stage to the big screen.
Dublin Oldschool is a fantastic film about life in Dublin, relationships and what you want out of your session in life. If you want to see a film that shows off Ireland wrinkles and all I can’t recommend this film enough.