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Rialto

Ireland / UK 2019
produced by
Alan Maher, John Wallace, Tristan Goligher, Valentina Brazzini, Celine Haddad (executive), Lizzie Francke (executive), Vincent Gadelle (executive) for Cowtown Pictures, The Bureau
directed by Peter Mackie Burns
starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Tom Glynn-Carney, Monica Dolan, Sophie Jo Wasson, Scott Graham, Michael Smiley, Eileen Walsh, Deirdre Donnelly, Deirdre Molloy, Kervin Soobrayen, Alexandra Smith, Jane McGrath, Pom Boyd, Pat McGrath, Ger Ryan, Paul Kealyn, Beibhinn Jones, David McMahon, Dara O'Grady
screenplay by Mark O'Halloran, based on his stage play Trade, music by Valentin Hadjadj

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Colm (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) is at a low point in his life, he's made redundant at work, feels misunderstood by his wife Claire (Monica Dolan) and especially his son Shane (Scott Graham), his dad has just died and his mum is rather blunt about not really needing his sympathy, and due to all of this, his drinking has gotten out of hands of late. And on top of it all, Jay (Tom Glynn-Carney), a 19 year old he wanted to pay for sex on the toilet and then chickened out, is now trying to blackmail him. As it transpires for not all that much though, so Colm starts seeing Jay more often, paying him for all their sexual encounters - but before he knows it, he feels more for Jay than he ever wanted to, sees their relationship based on honesty, and feels closer to Jay than anyone else - and that's something that Jay, who has a girlfriend and a baby daughter, isn't really comfortable with. Plus his unexpected feelings for Jay really throw off Colm all the more, and while he's trying to fix his life, he seems to be only making one plunder after the next ...

 

Rialto is a rather powerful drama, basically because it doesn't try to bring one big message across but really lets the audience be the judge of everything while showing sympathy for all its characters, no matter how flawed they might be. And of course, very natural performances by an able ensemble help achieve that - as does in fact a very subtle directorial effort that really gives story and characters enough space to evolve, and make this a rather compelling drama.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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