Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
After the disastrous defeat of Irish rebels by superior UK forces during the Easter Rising, Michael Collins develops new strategies for the independence of Ireland. His tactics include what is now recognized as urban guerrilla tactics and organized assassinations of those Irish who work as informers for the UK government, and later members of British intelligence. Although Collins is conflicted about the necessity of this violent course, by 1921 the British are willing to negotiate. Sinn Fein President Eamon de Valera sends a reluctant Collins to London to negotiate a settlement. When Collins returns with a compromise of a partitioned Ireland and an Irish Free State, not a Republic, within the British Empire he is vilified by de Valera and repudiated by lifelong friend Harry Boland after Boland learns that his girlfriend Kitty Kiernan is in love with Collins. Collins is now faced with civil war as he struggles against those who insist on complete and unconditional independence for all...Written by
During the Easter Rising scenes, the Volunteers and Citizen Army are shown marching out of the General Post Office to surrender. However, the day before the surrender, they had retreated from the burning GPO to another building down the road, and surrendered from there. The white flag of surrender was actually displayed at 16 Moore Street, in another part of Dublin, where the leadership was residing. See more »
[dictating a letter]
You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »
I didn't know if Hollywood was distorting history but someone who knows the story of Michael Collins assured me this was a pretty accurate portrayal of him in here, which makes this film go even higher in my ratings, because it's definitely entertaining and is spectacularly photographed. There is more blue color in here - beautiful blue - than in any movie I've ever seen. It looks just gorgeous on DVD.
Liam Neeson's charismatic portrayal of Collins keeps you riveted to the screen, even though it's a fairly long movie. Julia Roberts and Alan Rickman seemed a bit miscast. Being American and British, respectively, they weren't quite believable as Irishmen, perhaps because I'm used to hearing them as they normally talk. I also don't like to hear the Lord's name in vain so often as what was in here, but that seems commonplace among the Irish, at least in all the movies I've seen and books I've read (and my relatives, half of whom are Irish!)
Anyway, this is a very interesting story with a nice combination of drama, action and romance. Very much recommended regardless of anyone's stance on Irish-English relations.
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