The Drummer And The Keeper
Cert: 15A; Now showing
Serious issues don’t have to be dealt with deadly seriously, they just have to be dealt with. Nick Kelly’s first full-length feature deals with both the issues of mental health and Asperger’s in a remarkably light way and won Best First Feature at the Galway Fleadh.
One dawn a bottomless Gabriel (Dermot Murphy) laughs as he sets fire to a sofa on Sandymount Strand. This is our drummer, a talented and occasionally over exuberant young man whose great love is his band. But the sofa on the strand is not his first foray into arson, so his sister (Aoibhinn Mcginnity) stages an intervention. Gabriel is bipolar with psychotic episodes, he is also grieving. His meds do control his issues but they dampen his fire, however he is given little choice and agrees to start taking them regularly.
Part of his treatment is to play soccer on a mixed ability team and there he meets Christopher (Jacob Mccarthy), our keeper. Christopher has Asperger’s and lives in an institution, happily believing that when he turns 18 in a few weeks he will return to live with his mother (Ally Ni Chiarain) and her new husband.
The unlikely and not always simple friendship between Gabriel and Christopher does them both good as they face their very different problems. Peter Coonan, Phelim Drew and Olwen Fouere are among the well-known faces that crop up to help tell a story with lots of charm, sweetness and funny moments. It avoids anything too heavy, but still makes a point.
Dermot Murphy amd Jacob Mccarthy star in ‘The Drummer and the Keeper’. Photo: Gerry Mooney