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Movie review: Parked
Actors hate to be typecast. It's harder for those in particular who are associated with a specific role, as Colin Morgan is. He pops up a lot on Saturday evening telly as the sorcerer Merlin. It's a family friendly role, and probably pays the bills and then some, but after doing it for a number of years, it's no surprise to see the young actor wanting to play something completely different. And a junkie who lives in a yellow car in car park is certainly that.
It's almost a case of 'When TV World Collide' because if it wasn't enough having TV's Merlin on board, but also beaming down next to him is Colm Feaney, who played Chief O'Brien as he did for a number of years in Star trek: Deep Space Nine. It's safe to say that the pair here certainly explore new acting territory together.
Having just returned from England, Fred (Meaney) is struggling to get a roof over his head. In the mean time, he's set up shop living in his car in a car park. It's not your average pay and display however, as it nestles gentle against the sea. As car parks go, this one is quite breathtaking.
Fred's lucky enough to have the tarmaced area all to himself, until a young upstart rolls up in a garish yellow thing and parks up. One day the youngster, Cathal (Morgan), introduces himself. Despite being a drug user, he and Fred strike up an unusual friendship; it's a friendship that has a big affect on both of them, albeit in different ways.
Admittedly, initially at least, a film about two men living in a car park doesn't sound like the most attractive premise. And yet it soon wins you over with two incredibly touching performances from its leads. Meaney and Morgan gel incredibly well on screen, as the pair's friendship quickly blossoms, despite their obvious differences. Their age difference for one would lead you to believe that it was a father & son relationship, but the truth is Morgan's character proves to be just as supportive as Meaney's is.
But it's not just about some top notch acting. Darragh Byrne has managed to produce something very special indeed with his directorial debut. Not only does he make two oddities sparkle, but he does so by also supplying a beautifully rendered environment for them. He manages to take their mundane surroundings and create something almost magical through the lens. All supported by an elegant, understated score.
Parked is an adorable chunk of Irish indie filmmaking at its best that is full to the brim with sweetness and sorrow. It won't necessarily make you see NPC car parks in a new light, but possibly its two TV stars, who really give their all.
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