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Michael Collins – The Movie

Michael Collins

Feature Photo Michael Collins – The Movie

A Film Review by sirpeterjames.com.

Neil Jordan directs this film, and it stars Liam Neeson as the man, Michael Collins, Aiden Quinn as Hary Boland, and Julia Roberts as the romantic figure in both the lives of Michael and Harry.

The filming of this movie in 1996 took place in County Dublin and the city of Dublin. Filming also took place in County Wicklow, and a reshoot was done in New York.

The movie takes you back to the critical Irish history period of 1916-1922.

The film received many awards and was the highest-grossing film in Ireland. (4000 Irish pounds in 2000.)

There were many positives from critics around the globe and a few negatives. One of these is that certain of the scenes and statements made by characters in the film were inaccurate in terms of historical records. Jordan responded that filming time was limited, and in any event, most audiences needed a general idea of what took place, not the minutiae of Irish culture and history.

As a newcomer to this beautiful country and someone who has breezed through books and old films and visited a few historic sites, my local knowledge is somewhat limited. Therefore, the movie provided a fair amount of enlightenment about the establishment of the present Republic of Ireland and how it came about.

The performers were superb, the special effects were terrific, and the film was excellent. I considered my investment of three dollars ninety-nine to be the top value for my money.

Movie time was an hour and 33 minutes but I would not stake my life on this guess, though.

The storyline begins with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) surrendering to the British Army at the Easter Rising in 1916. Several key figures, Michael (Mick) Collins, Harry Boland, Eamon De Valera, and others, were imprisoned.

In 1918 in the Irish General Election, the Sein Fein Party was victorious. De Valera was elected president, Michael Collins, Director of Intelligence for the emerging IRA. The party then declared Irish independence unilaterally, leading to the Irish war of independence.

We now see the IRA coming into its own as Michael Collins launched his guerrilla tactics.

These tactics take you through the movie and a sprint pace. I wouldn’t comment on how much of the activity is true-to-life and how much is pumped up movie drama. But I would say that the man’s character, Michael Collins, was that of a sharp-witted, fearless man who went out against one of the greatest empires in the world with small numbers of poorly armed fighters. They were hopelessly outnumbered by the well-trained, well-armed British.

Michael Collins saw the chink in the British armor was their intelligence network, which he systematically destroyed, causing the British to call a truce.

Irrespective of your political beliefs, you cannot but appreciate what one man’s dedication, audacity, and intelligence accomplished against a mighty empire that had ruled Ireland with an iron fist for over 700 years.

To look at the whole storyline, you need to see the movie. You will be on the edge of your seat, so brace yourself.

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2 thoughts on “Michael Collins – The Movie

  1. Hi Kymber, my sentiment exactly. The country in which I was raised only had a 200 year documented history and although it is fascininating , it does not go back far enough for my curiosities. Ireland is so different, here documentation runs back thousands of years. I belong to a writers group of which apart from two Americans and myself, the rest are Irish. The Irish keep me on my toes, regularly setting me assignments to bring back to the meetings. The four movie reviews were part of this – I love it! I’m delighted you enjoyed the viewing and thank you for your comment, so appreciated.Blessings, Peter.

  2. I love period movies even if they aren’t completely accurate. If anything, watching a movie like this inspires me to find out more about the subject and learn the real history anyway. 🙂

Take the leap to comment, I personally respond to each.