- 16 Jun 17
Frenetic film about young Irish drug dealers captures the devastation of violence.
Director Mark O’Connor (Between The Canals) and star John Connors (King Of The Travellers, Love/Hate) co-wrote the impressive screenplay for Cardboard Gangsters, a violent drama following young men seeking respect, money and glory on the streets of Darndale. Connors plays Jay Connolly, a low-level DJ who decides to enter the big leagues to help support his struggling family. Though Jay is relatively level-headed, his friends get hyped up on the power, cash and sex that accompanies their new lifestyle. When their actions catch the attention of an older, ruthless gang, Jay is dragged down a violent and bloody path from which there is no return.
The film’s characterisation isn’t particularly nuanced, as young men prioritise their primal urges and underwritten women are dismissed as useless “bitches” or sex-driven “slags”. But as the film captures the geographical and figurative limits of these men’s lives, it does somewhat explain their narrow view of life and survival.
O’Connor directs with a feverish, compelling energy. As the camera chases men through raving parties as they escape a gun-wielding enemy, ducks below towering gangsters brandishing chainsaws or slowly settles on a man devastated by the violence he has committed, O’Connor thrusts the viewer into not just the action, but also its severe ramifications.