Title: Breakfast on Pluto Credit: John Curry Movies Friday 28th July 2006 - 12:00pm1154044800 Article: 1355 Rights
Cillian Murphy in Breakfast on Pluto Any movie that can make hit parade fodder such as Sugar Baby Love and Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep (or is that 'cheap'?) sound deep and meaningful has to be quite some movie. And Breakfast on Pluto is quite some movie. A story of unrequited love interrupted again and again by the grim realities of the Irish 'troubles' of the eighties, Breakfast on Pluto shows a director - Neil Jordan of 'The Crying Game' fame - at the top of his game. Jordan guides Patrick McCabe's 1998 yarn down many a winding byway and high way, and yes, it does meander a couple of times, but it's an Irish yarn! Go with it, it's the storytelling spirit of the Celts, ye ken? It's about a doorstep baby, Patrick (aka Patricia aka Kitten) and his search for his mother. Yes, he does find her but that's only one of many scenes that would ordinarily seem bizarre but here, ring all too true. Maybe it has something to do with the Glam Rock eighties, that weird marriage of hard-headed materialism and mandrax-induced self-realisation. Even an instant job with the Wombles comes across as entirely plausible! Anyway, our hero has these romantic notions of life - that his mum looks like Mitzi Gaynor (who played Nellie Forbush in the South Pacific movie) and one day his prince will come along and behave just like Bobby Goldsboro in that syrupy song 'Honey'. Of course, real life tries to knock the stuffing out of his dreams, but he keeps on re-adjusting his eyeliner and trying again ... Some might disapprove of the mixture of humour and violence, and I felt that making the villains so anonymous was letting the bastards off the hook, but then that's how they intrude into Patrick's life, anonymously. It's one of the film's many ironies that he gets to have as much happiness as he does because so many people see him as someone to be ignored - as one of the anonymous killers mutters, 'He's not worth it.'. Cillian Murphy turns in a remarkable performance as Patrick and watch out for Brian Ferry as a very creepy pimp. Yes, the ambiguous ending is a bit too trendily ambiguous (and film students could probably argue for hours about what it means), but as we currently see in Lebanon the struggle beween the material world and the spiritual seems to be a never-ending story. Now, where did I put my record of Wig Wam Bam? And I must add that I have never experienced such a comfortable seat in a cinema, (Rialto, Auckland) almost luxurious - Patrick would approve. John Curry - 28th July 2006    
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