Directed by Lance Daly starring Grattan Smith, MC Wuzza and Hughie Kelly.
City sickness and Monster (Smith) has it bad. Trying to leave his hometown, he gets some money together but ends up getting robbed. Then he tries to fleece some more from the local heavies but ends up getting rumbled. Eventually, there's nothing left to do except wander round with street adventurer Freddie (MC Wuzza), fuelled by the hope that a break is bound to come along.
If you ever watched a movie like 'Snatch' or 'Trainspotting' and wondered why it couldn't be made here, then you should see Daly's debut. It owes little in terms of style or themes to either of those films, but he knows that the city is a star in itself and can throw up characters, chances and cock-ups as good as anywhere else on the map. Beautifully filmed in black and white (with colour dream sequences of New York, Egypt and Paris), the shots of the capital will have even veteran pavement pounders wondering just where in Dublin they're looking at. Against this backdrop Smith (and the rest of the unknowns) wander in and out of each other's daily grinds, all stuck on roundabouts in their lives but lacking the means or momentum to do anything about it.
Unfortunately what lets Daly down is the script. At 74 minutes, 'Last Days in Dublin' is episodic in structure, but the problem is that some of the episodes are far more memorable than others. Characters deserved to be rounded out or have more scenes together (especially when we see Monster's father and granddad are also dreamers) in order to knit the plot together. Instead, the film just comes to an abrupt - if happy - halt. Prior to this what you've seen has been both funny and touching, and brimming with a mischievous confidence - a shame that it closes with an easy way out.
But shot on a shoestring with seemingly as much goodwill as graft, inventiveness as imagination (David Norris as a grumpy landlord? Nell McCafferty as a gang boss?), 'Last Days in Dublin' warrants your time.
And unlike its setting, there's more to admire than complain about.