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71 is an action movie filmed in the Northern Ireland region and is directed by Yann Demange and written by Gregory Burke. 71 is a cracking movie, a behind the enemy lines war film filled with mistrust and blood: this film is best termed as an action and conspiracy thriller. The movie is filmed in the early days of the conflict in Belfast.
The director of this film, Mr. Demange, has a talent for elegantly deploying action while using narrative devices like doubling and foreshadowing. For example, the blood that flows from the protagonist’s face sets the scene while it also foreshadows the river of red that comes after this scene. Also, the obstacle course that Gary and his fellow army recruits go through forecasts the future punishing situations.
Gary (Jack O’ Connell) is the main star of the film: he is a young English boy from Derbyshire who joins the army as a replacement family. He is recruited into the Parachute Regiment and is later shipped to Belfast where the army is participating in a peacekeeping mission and assisting the local civilian police. After a house to house search goes haywire, a riot is triggered by a confrontation that arises and Gary is left right in the middle of the scuffle by his retreating unit.
This is the world where the authorities are supplying arms and supporting informers to maintain a proxy war. As night creeps in, Gary doesn’t know how to get back to his companions at the barracks.
The only option is to get in contact with loyalist allies who are no guarantee for sanctuary. Gary is caught up in a combination of difficult situations: for example, there is the frontline battle: there is a miscommunication in the hierarchy of the IRA and an unstable relationship between the British army and the loyalist groups. The majority of the movie takes place at night. Gary is chased by a faction of the IRA headed by a ruthless killer named Quinn (Killian Scott). Gary is helped by several people along the journey, but he doesn’t understand who his biggest threat is, this plot forms the best twist of the film.
The Director’s Brilliance
The writer together with the director does a commendable job of weaving together a lot of events in fewer than one hundred minutes. The work is well disguised to keep the viewer guessing the whole time. For example, they can disguise the guilt, revenge, terror, expediency and manoeuvring. The skills of the director are evident throughout this film: he heightens the film’s power to keep us in the dark in regards to the next move. Demange employs the right style and music that makes the movie more interesting. The director communicates moral conscience effortlessly in this film, for instance, when Gary is trapped in a high-rise building and is facing adversaries his age: he knows it’s either him or them. 71 is a nail-biting film with great control, striking action and pace, it even has some episodes of humour.