Break


Five Minutes of Heaven (Review)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZOE7HgvI3c[/youtube]

BARELY seventeen, Alistair Little assassinates nineteen year old Jim Griffin.

Alistair is Protestant. Jim is Catholic. And in Belfast, 1975, a city bloodied and bombed by sectarian violence, that is reason enough for the Ulster Volunteer Force’s newest recruit to gun Jim down in his home, the boy desiring to make a name for himself as a hero.

Jim’s younger brother Joe is the only witness. He’s eleven.

Fast forward thirty-three years later, and Alistair (Liam Neeson) and Joe (James Nesbitt) are grown men given the opportunity to reconcile. They have both agreed to a live-to-air meeting via an Irish television program that acts as means of healing for victims of the Troubles.

Alistair has served twelve years for his crime. The perpetrator has grown into a reserved, respected man, if still haunted by blood guilt. It is both fitting and ironic that he is a reknowned expert on conflict resolution. Joe is a man eroded by a lust for retribution, having continued to be a witness to the devastation caused by the murder. He has borne constant accusations from his mother that he could somehow have prevented his brother’s murder, and watched his father’s sorrow slowly defeat him. Will Joe be able to forgive Alistair for the destruction of his family? Does he really want to, or is the meeting his opportunity for cold sweet revenge, his “five minutes in heaven”? Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, Five Minutes of Heaven raises many questions about generational violence and reconciliation. With masterful performances from Neeson and Nesbitt, it is a terse, yet ultimately hopeful film which explores the emotional impact of a meeting between two men tainted by inter-communal conflict. Do we sympathise with the man who was originally the killer, who has attempted to make good of his life? Or do we feel the man who craves retribution needs his five minutes of heaven in order to deal with the tragedy, and that his vengeance is justifiable? Perhaps the greatest barriers to reconciliation and redemption are those walls built in our own minds and memories. Readers may be interested to note that the film was based on real life individuals, with Hirschbiegel and screenwriter Guy Hibbert imagining a meeting between Little and Griffin. Five Minutes of Heaven opens in theatres from March 18.

Five Minutes of Heaven opens in theatres from March 18.

Alistair has served twelve years for his crime. The perpetrator has grown into a reserved, respected man, if still haunted by blood guilt. It is both fitting and ironic that he is a reknowned expert on conflict resolution.

Joe is a man eroded by a lust for retribution, having continued to be a witness to the devastation caused by the murder. He has borne constant accusations from his mother that he could somehow have prevented his brother’s murder, and watched his father’s sorrow slowly defeat him.

Will Joe be able to forgive Alistair for the destruction of his family? Does he really want to, or is the meeting his opportunity for cold sweet revenge, his “five minutes in heaven”?

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, Five Minutes of Heaven raises many questions about generational violence and reconciliation. With masterful performances from Neeson and Nesbitt, it is a terse, yet ultimately hopeful film which explores the emotional impact of a meeting between two men tainted by inter-communal conflict.

Do we sympathise with the man who was originally the killer, who has attempted to make good of his life? Or do we feel the man who craves retribution needs his five minutes of heaven in order to deal with the tragedy, and that his vengeance is justifiable?

Perhaps the greatest barriers to reconciliation and redemption are those walls built in our own minds and memories.

Readers may be interested to note that the film was based on real life individuals, with Hirschbiegel and screenwriter Guy Hibbert imagining a meeting between Little and Griffin.

Five Minutes of Heaven opens in theatres from March 18.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website © 2014 All Rights Reserved

Buy Generic Viagra Online