Director: Mark O'Connor
Cast: Corey McKinley, Damien Dempsey, Fionn Walton, Jimmy Smallhorne, John Connors, Kierston Wareing
Country of Origin: Ireland 2016 90 mins. (18)
Released by Wildcard Distribution
Mark O'Connor's hit the bull's eye with a raw, gritty, powerful and realistic tale of would-be gangsters.
How would four lads from Dublin's Darndale Estate pass the time? Deal weed and dream of making the big time drug trade but that needs cash and they've got to deal with Derra Murphy (Jimmy Smallhorne) who controls the heroin trade on Darndale.
The lads look up to Jay (John Connors), tough but with a heart but he's got problems - his girlfriend Sarah's (Toni O'Rourke) pregnant, his dole money's on hold because he sidelines as a DJ and his mother's (Fiona Hewitt-Twamley) in debt to Derra. Tattooed, twitchy Dano (Fionn Walton), the wannabe hard man, forever in your ear wants to whack the big man and take over. Cobbie (Ryan Lincoln) and Glenner (Paul Alwright) go with the flow. The lads need cash so Jay and Dano hit a local off licence and the move towards the top of the s... heap begins. But then Jay has an affair with Dera's wife Kim (Kierston Wareing), well more a quicky in an alley outside of a club. A line's crossed, things get ugly and the word respect floats into the conversation. You don't mess with Derra Murphy or the other hard men on the Darndale. And hovering in the background is Derra's only son Sean (Ciaran McCabe), over-the-top eager to prove himself. Moving up the ladder to feast at top table isn't proving an easy journey.
'Cardboard Gangsters' has a fly-on-the-wall authentic touch enhanced by location use of the Darndale. With a sharp, a stylish sound track that brings in rap artists from Darndale, Michael Lavelle's hand held camera captures the frenetic pace of this powerful, character driven tale, capped by naturalistic performances from leads John Connors, who co-wrote the script with Mark O'Connor and Fionn Walton.