Credit has run dry
THE GUARANTEE Directed by Ian Power. Starring David Murray, Orla Fitzgerald, Peter Coonan, Morgan C Jones, Gary Lydon. Cert 15A, general release, 80mins On the night of September 29th, 2008, the Irish government opted to guarantee virtually the entire domestic banking system, a decision that would impose extremely harsh fiscal measures on all citizens of the State and their children, and their children’s children.
If you’re unfamiliar with those events, The Guarantee won’t help much. This new dramatisation of a fateful evening at Government Buildings, based on a play by Colin Murphy, ought to resemble a Peter Morgan ( The Pact, The Queen) film. Or Twelve Angry Men. Or a Hibernian Margin Call (which saw a fictionalised Wall Street investment bank realise, over one thrilling evening, that it is flatter than flat broke).
Sadly, The Guarantee does little or nothing to convince us that it belongs in a cinema. Throughout, the film struggles against a mountain of material and the kind of production budget one might expect from a country that opted to vouch for crooked bankers. Cast members unwisely and confusingly double-job.
The Brechtian notion of casting Peter Coonan as Anglo Irish Bank absconder David Drumm and as an equally shadowy Central Banker might have worked on stage, but on film it’s a head wreck. There are so many endless plugs for co-producer TV3, one half-expects the legend “I only watch it for the articles” to flash across the screen.
Elsewhere, the grammar leans on devices that were