- 1 hr 39 min
'71 is a tense and emotional thriller set in the streets of Belfast in 1971 during the height of the Troubles. A period of extreme political unrest and violence between Catholic and Protestant communities. The film follows the journey of a young British soldier named Gary Hook, played by Jack O'Connell, who joins his regiment on a mission to provide support to the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
The film initially establishes the political unrest brewing in the city, with many Catholics protesting against the government and the British Army for their discriminatory practices. The film takes us along the dangerous streets of Belfast, where the smallest mistake can lead to an explosion of violence. It is a city divided with its own set of secret codes, language, and hidden alleys. The film captures the mood of the city in a realistic and tense manner, with houses covered in metal grilles, barbed wire, and soldiers patrolling the streets. This heightened level of surveillance and violence signifies the state of emergency in which everyone lives.
During a routine patrol, Hook and his unit find themselves trapped in the wrong part of the city. After an attack by a mob of protesters, Hook finds himself alone and separated from his unit. Now stranded in unfamiliar territory and without any way of contacting his commanding officer, Hook sets out to survive and make his way back to his barracks.
The film captures the hopelessness of the situation with excellent cinematography, using shaky camera movements to heighten the anxiety and confusion that Hook faces as he navigates the streets. The film focuses on Hook's journey through the city, as he is chased by both the IRA and the British military police. He crosses paths with different individuals along the way, some who support him, and some who want to turn him in.
The performances of the cast, particularly O'Connell, are remarkable. O'Connell captures the emotional turmoil of the character as he struggles to survive while being hunted by both sides of the conflict. His portrayal of Hook is authentic and believable, showing a level of intense physical and emotional vulnerability.
The film simultaneously addresses the prejudices, both physical and mental, that were built upon by the Troubles. It shows the interdependence of the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary and their reliance on each other. It also portrays the groupism within the Catholic and the Protestant Communities and the survival mechanism used to live in a divided society with so much brutality.
The (Jumbled Speech) also shows the complicated nature of the conflict, with each decision leading to a new layer of problems. It highlights the human cost of the conflict for the soldiers and the civilians who lived in constant danger. The film skillfully depicts the brutality of war without glorifying it.
In conclusion, '71 is a gripping action-thriller that offers a glimpse into the brutality of the Northern Ireland conflict. It is a story of survival, endurance and struggle. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in the Northern Ireland conflict or loves the thriller genre. The realistic portrayal of the conflict, the intense acting, and the emotional journey of the protagonist make this film an outstanding film.
'71 is a 2015 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 83.