The Guard is the most successful Irish film in history at the domestic box office. Its a comedy crime drama set in Connemara, West Ireland involving drug smuggling, the FBI and the Garda, the Irish police. While there are plenty of characters who could fit into Father Ted, what’s especially good is the script narration on Ireland, its relationship with England and the Irish character. Some of the conversations reminded me of talking to John O’Kelly and my time in Rus Muck, Connemara at John’s house that looked like something from the Money Pit.
Constant digs at Dublin coupled with more obvious anger with the English are funny in itself (the joke about the IRA recruiting gays to infiltrate MI5 is a classic) but what’s really impressive are the jokes about the Irish themselves. Brendan Gleeson plays the Irish provincial copper with a penchant for hookers while Don Cheadle is the FBI man who has to get used to Gleeson unashamed racism and joy-de-vivre. The film is fairly honest and brutal beyond its humour but the surprised observation from Gleeson that ‘I’m Irish. Racism’s part of my country’ is brilliantly observed. This is very, very worth watching.