At a recent preview screening of John Boorman's new film 'The Tiger's Tail' an actor read an introduction which highlighted the contradictions of living in modern Ireland. "The new prosperity and the vulgar flaunting of wealth"; "The 'traffic jam' postcard showing sheep blocking a road and Pearse Street today" and "The anonymous generosity that fills the collection boxes outside the supermarket and the fat-cats who only give when they can be seen to be giving" were among the observations. All have some relevance when discussing 'The Tiger's Tail' and to that list can be added: "The great director who makes a very poor film."
To those obsessed with surface glamour, property developer Liam O'Leary (Gleeson) would appear to have it all: a beautiful wife (Cattrall, with poor Irish accent – why couldn't she play an American?), a huge house, a thriving business and the admiration of Dublin's elite. But Liam is living a lie. His marriage is dead; his business could be about to go under and whatever he's achieved or acquired in the past, it hasn't made him happy. And Liam is about to get pushed even closer to the edge when he starts seeing his exact double around the city...
As a country, Ireland needs a film to put forward the argument that we now have an economy instead of a society. But not this. Described in pre-release reports as a black comedy thriller, 'A Tiger's Tail' is neither funny nor exciting and feels so thrown together that you have to keep reminding yourself that this is from the director who made 'The Emerald Forest', 'Deliverance' and 'Point Blank'. It looks like a bad TV movie and the points it tries to make are largely lost because the film's tone deviates so wildly, with some scenes so over-the-top as to render them impotent.
Here you get an A&E Department that looks like it belongs in 'Saving Private Ryan'; a depiction of Temple Bar that Hieronymus Bosch would decry for being too sensationalistic and a scene in a psychiatric hospital where it's difficult to figure out if laughable or offensive gets the upper hand. All miss the mark so badly and feel so fake that they deserve the same contempt as the worst of Hollywood's visions of Ireland.
Your time would be spent as productively diving for pearls in the Liffey.