Calm With Horses - Review (London Film Festival 2019)
No Going Back. 3.5 / 5
Directed by Nick Rowland. In darkest rural Ireland, ex-boxer Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm’s loyalties are truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.
Loyalty is tested as Cosmo Jarvis is led down a dark path in the confident Calm With Horses.
Gritty and having the scars to prove it, from the opening moments you see that this is a sudden and very impactful film looking at the ramifications on a man involved with an Irish crime family.
Nick Rowland feature debut shows a more sensitive side to the criminal lifestyle and the consequences it has not only on a person but the people around him. Though the film wouldn't have the same impact if it wasn't for Cosmo Jarvis in the lead role. He brings such a layered performance, dealing with social needs like mental health, disability and family.
Set in the magnificent Irish countryside, it keeps the setting feel very contained as the situation gets more and more claustrophobic for our main character.
Bloody and brutal but with a lot of heart, there's not much to help it stand out amongst crime dramas like it but it's still an impressive and poignant film especially for a debut. Read our latest reviews at: letterboxd.com/TheJackAling