The Irish film industry has been quiet of late but that's all about to change with the release of Brendan Muldowney's unflinching drama Savage which puts a very different slant on the image of the Fair City and may have you looking over your shoulder on the way home from the cinema.
Savage tells the story of mild-mannered paparazzo (contradiction in terms) Paul (Darren Healy) who while walking home from a night out is savagely attacked and robbed by a couple of random scumbags on the streets of Dublin.
Unable to deal with the after effects of the attack, Paul begins to spiral out of control until he finds some comfort in the arms of kindly nurse Michelle (Nora-Jane Noone). But sadly for Paul the respite is short-lived and he soon descends into a madness that threatens everyone around him.
Anyone who has spent a night out in Dublin in the last 10 years and witnessed first hand how things can go from calm to carnage in the space of a few seconds will immediately side with Savage. Not since Scorcese's Taxi Driver has a film pointed the finger of blame firmly at those in society that victimise and terrorise seemingly at will knowing that the consequences of their actions mean nothing.
Director Muldowney's ninth feature is also his most accessible as he has picked a subject we all deal with on a regular basis. While anti-social behaviour is nothing new it has become an almost accepted evil in modern Ireland and Savage depicts a likely outcome if nothing is done to change that.
Savage is not your run-of-the-mill revenge flick. There's no Charlie Bronson dealing out justice or Steven Segal knocking the shit out of all and sundry. Savage is a very real account of one man's struggle to cope with a random act of violence that changes his life forever and threatens to engulf him.
While a little too real for some people, Savage is an important film that also serves as a cautionary tale that tells us that if something is not done soon to combat the problem then, sooner or later, we will be watching this on the 6 o'clock news for real.