August 06, 1999
A Look at... Waking Ned Devine - THE COMMENTARY
By Joseph Planta
Waking Ned Devine isnít a Chaplin film, a Benigni movie or even Mr. Bean. There are no big stars, but there is great heart in the story and the characters. Touted by its U.S. distributors as 1998ís The Full Monty, it failed to ignite, but it did make an impressive impression on Hollywood. The actors are unknown in North America, so their names are too here. Itís a story of a small Irish village of a bout 60 or so. One of its inhabitants holds the ticket to the big lottery jackpot. The 2 leads proceed to host a dinner party inviting every single resident of their village, to try to figure out who the new millionaire is. At the do, everyone is a buzz on who has the ticket, suffice to say none of them have got it. The hosts figure out one person failed to show.
Ned Devine was holding the ticket when he checked the numbers and died instantly of a heart attack. They discover the body and instead of reporting his death one man begins to impersonate Ned to claim the prize money. A man from the lottery corp. arrives and meets the new Ned. He promises to return with the money at a later date, but says that heís got to confirm his identity with the townsfolk. They proceed to propose to the entire town that if they play along theyíll all get a share. Sounds pretty underhanded, but its played out pretty touching. They get the dough and toast their mate Ned, whoís given them their fortune.
Itís a most charming picture. Itís funny and has got the great Irish wit that is nothing short of straight from the barley stone. Waking Ned Devineís a film that is defiantly worth a look. Amongst the blood and guts of Thin Red and Private Ryan, or the low brow schlock of Mary or Pie, this is a welcoming change. Rent it today and it wonít fail to impress.
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