DON’T YOU RECOGNISE ME?

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

Oh great. Another low budget faux documentary. This is going to be hard work, isn’t it? Hold on! Leave those preconceptions at the door mister, as Don’t You Recognise Me? is actually a powerhouse of brutality, tension, and - even more shockingly - amazing acting.

Tony (Toman) is planning his next documentary. He’s going to spend a day in the life of someone who lives his life as a self-styled gangster on a rough Dublin estate. Meeting up with K (Sherlock), he’s welcomed into the seemingly amiable young scamps flat and introduced to his friends and (multiple) girlfriends. K tells Tony that he’s taken on his father’s role in the community following his murder, and is seething at the similar loss of one his ‘brothers’ the year previously. He appears to have his heart in the right place, but genial side slips when they later bump into someone who owes him money. As the day progresses, Tony and his film crew will learn far more than they bargained for about K’s life, his family, and morals.

First off, we need to apologise for being rather cagey about certain aspects of the film’s plot. It’s far better to go in with as little expectations as possible to truly appreciate what is about to transpire. However, we will say that for ninety minutes, the viewer is sent on a rollercoaster of emotions and certainly by the half-way point, it’s edge-of-the-seat terrifying; something that doesn’t let up. Once we’re introduced to K’s associates, particularly Daz (Travers) and Terese (Ryan), things quickly escalate to become white-knuckle viewing. They are both terrifically deranged, making the spectacle as unpredictable as it is enthralling. Writer/director Jason Figgis also makes an imposing appearance as the disturbing ‘Babyface’, who manages to hammer home a point or two.

As mentioned, Figgis’ film defies preconceptions on almost every level. Thankfully, it’s not presented in a ‘found footage’ manner - the addition of the score, in particular, really underpins some scenes and draws one in as it should - but maintaining the urgency of a documentary, the viewer is made to feel part of the situation, almost complicit, questioning our motives as much as the characters. Impeccably played by all involved, this is definitely a film worth seeking out, and one that distributors would be crazy to overlook.

DON’T YOU RECOGNISE ME? / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JASON FIGGIS / STARRING: DARREN TRAVERS, MATTHEW TOMAN, SHAUNA RYAN, JASON SHERLOCK / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Expected Rating: 5 out of 10
Actual Rating:


 


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