- 27 Apr 18
Mark O'Rawe's directorial debut is promising but overly theatrical.
Accomplished playwright Mark O’Rowe has moved his skills from stage to screen for his directorial debut, The Delinquent Season. The film centres on two couples: Jim and Daniele (Cillian Murphy and Eva Birthistle), and Chris and Yvonne ((Andrew Scott and Catherine Walker). Daniele and Yvonne are longtime friends, while the two men are somewhat reluctantly recruited to be present at occasional dinner parties. It’s at one of these gatherings that Chris snaps at Yvonne in a display of temper.
Unfortunately, it’s not an isolated incident, and Yvonne starts spending more and more time in Jim and Daniele’s home, seeking comfort and safety. As Yvonne’s vulnerability and desire to be loved meets stay-at-home-Dad Jim’s ennui and need for excitement, an affair begins, allowing O’Rowe to explore the nature of love, relationships and selfishness.
As an actor’s showcase, The Delinquent Season is effective. Murphy, best known for playing quiet, contemplative characters or maniacal villains, impressively portrays an essentially ordinary and infuriatingly selfish man. Jim isn’t driven into the affair by a desire to hurt anyone, but his need for an ego-boost allows him to compartmentalise, so he can ignore the pain he’s causing. As Yvonne, Walker is an interesting actress, able to deftly handle her character’s blend of vulnerability, desire, and the desperate need for validation that can follow abuse.