A must watch movie in 2013 ‘What Richard did’ 아프니까 청춘이다 ‘왓 리처드 디드’

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Text by John Glynn. Photos by www.whatricharddid.ie

Lenny Abrahamson, the acclaimed Irish director, released his third feature as a leading, prestigious film-maker. Staying true to his sheer creative abilities, each of his movies varies considerably in style – continual mannerisms differ – and yet the compelling, ingenious astuteness behind them is unadorned and simplistic. Adam and Paul, his 2004 debut, was a movie steeped in melancholy, two drug addicts struggling for survival in Dublin, Ireland, my native country. In his epic follow up three years later, Garage, a touching comedy about an abandoned petrol station employee, all this set in an elevated pragmatic manner.

What Richard Did, one of the most underrated movies of 2013, is something extraordinary. Malcolm Campbell, the genius who scripted this piece of art, ensures it’s a multifaceted, restrained tragedy about an overly self-assured teenager that relies heavily upon two customs: The protagonist’s father is played admirably by Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads, the star of The Hunt, probably the second best movie of 2013. The environment where the plot unfolds is in one of Dublin’s more areas, full of societal influencers, a lustrous and well respected group that subsisted prior to, throughout and following the Celtic Tiger boom(and subsequent crash).


The juvenile alpha male at the centre of the plot is Richard, played superbly by Jack Reynor, a boy with a gaping, attractive face that chronicles his character’s nous of estimably natured privileges. An overachiever, Richard is a teenage rugby star, a young man who oozes effortless, sophisticated buoyancy. Like a normal teen, he hangs out with his friends and a multitude of indulgent girls: organizing parties at his parents’ beach dwelling, where he is introduced to individuals almost like a legislator or icon. However, apprehension sets in when Richard develops romantic feelings for Lara (Róisin Murphy), the attractive girlfriend of rugby colleague Conor, resulting in deliberate smouldering and distressing consequences.

What surprised me about this movie wasn’t the misfortune, but the painful domino impact. Richard is your typical alpha male, a big brother to the neighbouring youth. In this unpretentious Irish vicinity, Richard carries the social assets not only of being attractive and humorous, but also having free reign over his parents’ aforementioned beach house. Diffident about Richard’s drunken misconduct, Richard’s mom pleads with him to reconsider his destructive mannerisms, while his father is completely sympathetic to the fact that a young man needs a little bit of provocative behavior in his life.


In many ways that seditious behavior extends to Richard’s incredibly civic courtship of Lara the local beauty who can’t help but desire Richard’s body even while attached to another teenager, a gangly recluse. The aforementioned Conor, played wonderfully by Sam Keeley watches on with surgical exactitude as Richard woos his one true love. It’s unattainable to disregard the boy’s charisma and Reynor’s distinctive, hearty handsomeness. In addition to this point, this is surely something Michael Bay found so engaging when he cast Reynor in the forthcoming “Transformers” follow-up.

Regrettably, it’s never clear whether Lara has made a clean break with Conor, and those uncertainties come to a head at a disorderly house party. With Conor making a romantic move, a gigantic drunken brawl explodes. Richard, passive by nature, goes fist to fist with Conor and the two of them quarrel until Conor physically attacks him. All of a sudden, a group of teens flock and begin grappling with each other. Richard attempts to compose himself, while Conor takes a villainous blast to the face. Anyone, including yours truly, who has been in a real fight knows only too well the anarchy that this adrenaline arouses, and the impending reality of an irreversible escalation is all too real. As Conor shuffles in the murky darkness, Richard approaches and delivers a rapid, alcohol influenced kick to the head. Usually, it’s the sort of kick that Arnie or Chuck Norris would idealistically shrug off, but in this case, it proves lethal.


As the media reports the death of an 18-year-old boy at a local party, Richard and his flanking friends assemble, troubled by the legitimacy that it was a catastrophe, an unfortunate accident. Richard himself is intensely traumatized, not only that his destiny may be all but sealed, but because it was only meant to be a meaningless fight. What’s interesting is the vibrant portrayal of a teenager who seeks repentance.

The beauty here is that WRD paints a suggestive portrait of culpability and bereavement while also parsing the stickiest notions of responsibility and virtuousness. Richard keeps swaying between the thought of turning himself in and keeping quiet. It allows him an element of freedom, the suggestion of coming clean, but at the same time he understands the ache and distress he would be causing his folks by eloping. WRD asks, do we understand the difference between dual understandings of good and bad, and why is it never easy to make amends or admit to a disaster? Hard-hitting and cynical, “What Richard Did” is an outstanding assessment of the slender line between undisruptive irresponsibility and austere misfortune.

john glynnContributor, John Glynn

As a contributor of CultureM Magazine, he is writing about global culture, for example, movie, music so on. And he has a PhD in Psychology.

영국 출신의 컬쳐엠매거진 컨트리뷰터 존 그린은 영화, 음악 등 문화 관련 컨텐츠에서 날카로운 분석을 통한 심도 깊은 이야기를 전해주고 있다

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