In the Name of the Father – Film Review Essay
In the evening of October 5th, 1974, in a pub in Guildford, an IRA bomb explodes, killing five people. The police force is forced to turn to the most likely suspects without regard for their guilt or innocence. Gerry Conlon, Paul Hill, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson, known as the “Guildford Four”, become prime targets. When Gerry’s father Giuseppe arrives from Ireland to help his son obtain a lawyer, he is charged with participating in an IRA support network, and so does six other family members of the “Guildford Four”.
The “Guildford Four” are sentenced to life in prison and Giuseppe is given fourteen years. The lawyer Gareth Peirce is not convinced that things are what they are presented as. She is trying to get their convictions overturned. As much as In the Name of the Father is about the true facts surrounding the conviction, the movie’s primary theme is more personal and intimate: to show the development of the relationship between father and son.
When Gerry and Giuseppe arrive in prison, they are like strangers, distant and cold.
Some years later, they both have made their peace with themselves and each other. In the Name of the Father is a true story, and is based on the autobiography of Gerry Conlon. This is a very touchy story, which made a huge impression on me. Parts of the film are under the interrogations of the Guildford Four, where they get subjected to torture and terrible acts. It seems so real, and you almost feel like being there yourself. When you see these terrible scenes you get huge sympathy for the wretched that goes through this.
Each character is remarkably realized, and there are a lot of good actors. Daniel Day-Lewis as the main character Gerry Conlon plays with a strong personality, Emma Thompson who plays the lawyer to Gerry Conlon and his father, plays with such credibility. But I especially want to praise Pete Postlethwaite for playing Gerry Colon’s father exceptionally. He gets us to know the feelings of Giuseppe, but not in an overdriven way, and drags us into the story. The music in the movie creates the right mood.
Artists and bands like Bono, Gavin Friday, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Bob Marley play as usual magnificent. This makes the movie even more exceptional. This is a very good movie that has won several Oscars. It makes you think of the important things in life, like family, and how brutal and unfair the world can be if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time. The film make you think for a long time after you have finished reading it. This is a film worth seeing.