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‘Tarrac’: Galway Review | Reviews

‘Tarrac’: Galway Review |  Reviews


Dir. Declan Recks. Republic of Ireland. 2022. 94 minutes

Tarrac adds a new set of oars an old-fashioned sporting underdog story: ‘naomhog’, or ‘currach’, is not widely known outside Ireland, and even there a racing team of women in this rowboat made of wood, tar and canvas is a niche. Still, it’s the star of Declan Reck’s entertaining drama – along with the four ladies who are determined to win the regional (Munster) final for their small Irish-speaking Kerry village for the first time in 22 years.

Using well-known building blocks, Declan Recks confidently builds himself into an emotional finale in the middle of a nicely etched father-daughter relationship

Using well-known building blocks, Recks (Eden, the flag) builds himself confidently for an emotional finale in the middle of a nicely etched father-daughter relationship that should at least see his film fly in domestic distribution. There’s a softness in it initially, underlined by a week’s film soundtrack and an unrealistic insistence on portraying Kerry as covered in eternal sunshine, which seems to promise a cheerful gentleness. But the combination of female solidarity for these ‘sisters to the sea’ and a sharp focus on gnawing family injuries (which of course will be overcome) makes this feelgood feature sail over the waves of predictability for a sweet landing on solid home ground.

The lingering Irish theme of children leaving and parents grieving over them (also proven in this year’s second Galway Fleadh premieres The Sparrow and Lakelands) gets a thorough aeration here, this time in Irish. The country’s successful Cine4 program brings a lot to admire artistically (Arracht, Foscadh, The Quiet Girl) and here also commercially – this is aimed at the Irish multiplex. Lorcan Cranitch, a mainstay of the Irish language renaissance, plays the harsh father (as he does in Lakelands) – here, called Bear, a former naomhog master, and father of Dublin workaholic Aoife (Kelly Gough).

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Aoife is only seen attempting to return home after Bear has had a heart attack, even though he is resistant to her services. Their house is painted green (little doubt we are in Ireland), and has beautiful sea views in the Kerry Gaeltacht – and the sea, which we have noticed from the first moment of the film, is an irresistible force for Aoife, still shattered . after the mother’s death many years earlier.

On a loose end while Bear recovers, Aoife reunites with his old friends and makes an impulsive decision to join their naomhog team that has somehow reached the Munster semifinals. It’s a decision she’s going to regret, not just because it’s physically brutal work (“you’re not on a fancy rowing machine right now,” says Bear.) This seemingly pointless mission is going to force her to show up. herself and her past. When the film sails past the 40-minute limit without a romantic interest in sight, viewers can breathe a sigh of relief that she is allowed to do this alone, and that any reconciliation with Bear will truly be accomplished. Harder to write, but so much better to see.

In fact, Eugene O’Brien’s clever script also manages to introduce the rare character of a traveling family into the film in a smooth but pointed way. Rachel Feeny’s young Naomie has left her drunken parents to seek refuge in her charming cousin Noellie’s (Cillian O’Gairbhi) caravan. She is set to get to the Olympics, knowing that she is the best rower in the area. Now Aoife must give her a good reason to stand up for the community that also marginalizes her: This is a small side bar, admittedly, but with colorful characters that impress. And overall, while Tarrac (which means “move!”) Clearly has budget constraints, they have not limited their ambitions.

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Production companies / international sales: Icebox Films, [email protected]

Producer: Cliona Ni Bhuachalla

Screenplay: Eugene O’Brien

Cinematography: Patrick Jordan

Production design:

Editing: Gareth Young

Music: Kormac

Starring: Kelly Gough, Lorcan Cranitch, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Kate Finegan, Rachael Feeney, Cillian O’Gairbhi

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