The Wind That Shakes the Barley review

This movie was recommend by Kira from Film and TV 101 as part of my Anniversary Celebration 5.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley movie posterSynopsis
During the Irish War of Independence, the O’Donovan brothers, Damien (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy (Padraic Delaney), join the fight for Irish Independence from the United Kingdom.

I think I can honestly say this is the first Irish independent film I have ever watched in my life (at least that I can recall). And I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I feel about The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Going in knowing nothing about this other than it was a war film, it wasn’t the war film I expected it to be. Most of the time when I think of a war film, it is covered in violence and regular action pieces. Maybe that’s a mistake on my part for setting that expectation in my head but that is not what this was. There were action scenes intermittently throughout the film but the main focus was on the O’Donovan brothers, played by Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delaney.

The drama between the two brothers drives the film, the war is simply the backdrop for their story. Murphy and Delaney expertly navigate the audience through their turmoil. Murphy is an actor that has mostly flown under my radar. I’ve seen many of his films but he isn’t necessarily one to be the reason I watch a film. That might’ve changed after watching this movie. His performance as Damien O’Donovan might be his best performance I’ve seen. While this is Delaney’s first film I’ve seen, consider me a fan. These two together made a great pair.

I thought The Wind That Shakes the Barley was GOOD πŸ™‚ I said at the beginning that I didn’t know how I felt about this film but now I know. While the story might not be my normal cup of tea, the performances from Murphy and Delaney and the emotion they each brought to the film made it enjoyable and worthwhile.


Cast & Crew
Ken Loach – Director
Paul Laverty – Writer
George Fenton – Composer

Cillian Murphy – Damien O’Donovan
Padraic Delaney – Teddy O’Donovan
Liam Cunningham – Dan
Orla Fitzgerald – Sinead
Laurence Barry – Michael
Mary Murphy – Bernadette
Mary O’Riordan – Peggy
Myles Horgan – Rory
Martin Lucey – Congo
Roger Allam – Sir John Hamilton
John Crean – Chris
Damien Kearney – Finbar
Frank Bourke – Leo
Shane Casey – Kevin
Mairtin de Cogain – Sean
William Ruane – Johnny
Fiona Lawton – Lily
Sean McGinley – Father Denis
Kevin O’Brien – Tim