Adam and Paul
|Adam and Paul|
DVD cover of Adam and Paul
|Directed by||Lenny Abrahamson|
|Produced by||Jonny Speers|
|Written by||Mark O'Halloran|
|Distributed by||Element Pictures|
|Running time||85 minutes|
Adam and Paul is a 2004 Irish film which follows a day in the life of two Dublin drug addicts, Adam and Paul, as they wander around Dublin trying to score heroin. Adam is the taller and slightly smarter of the two while Paul is his sidekick.
Stylistically, Adam and Paul is a cold, contemporary take on classic, physical comedy. At heart it is a minimal, Beckettesque fairytale about two young men in the grip of forces too powerful for them to handle; they are shown as vulnerable, lost, and sometimes pathetically optimistic. The film is not without hope; it is an unsentimental and often very funny testament to the persistence of the human spirit in even the most marginal of people.
Adam and Paul are childhood friends who as adults have withered into two hopeless, desperate addicts, tied together by habit and necessity. The film is a stylised, downbeat comedy, following the pair through a single day, which, like every other, is devoted to scrounging and robbing money to buy heroin.
Adam and Paul wake up sick in the middle of a field with Adam glued to a mattress. They make their way into town via a run-in with a terrified and terrifying drug dealer named Martin in Flat 63 of a tower block in Ballymun, a hasty exit from the top deck of a bus, a long trudge down the median of a dual carriageway and an incident with a moped that injures Paul's leg. Wandering through St Stephen's Green they meet their old gang who are drinking cans and having "a little picnic for the kiddies". Made feel unwelcome, the boys sit down to a roasting from Marian and Orla who are furious with them for not turning up that morning to the month's mind of Matthew, the boys' best friend and Orla's brother. Marian, backed by her brother Wayne, warns them to stay away from his sister, Janine. To the disgust of Wayne and the girls, Georgie lets slip that there is a "do" on for Matthew that night in the Bunker pub.
From here we follow the boys aimlessly wandering around the city looking for an unknown person – perhaps a contact that might be able to sort them out with a fix. They have a misunderstanding with a homeless guy in a sleeping bag who thinks they're looking for a local troublemaker under the alias of "Clank" who he mistakenly gathers owes them money. Paul hurts his hand in a botched attempt at a smash and grab; they get kicked out of a café for trying to steal a handbag and Paul gets barred from a shop for "feelin' bread". After a random argument with a Bulgarian immigrant (who asks them infuriated "Why the fuck, are you here?"), and failing to get anywhere in their search for drugs, they make their way to Janine's. She is not home but the door is left open. The boys are just about to steal her telly, when they hear the sound of a baby crying. Janine returns home to find the two gently holding and whispering to the baby. They leave Janine with the promise that they will see her again that night at the Bunker.
The pair mug an adolescent with Down syndrome, but he does not have any cash or valuables. Later, a furious man grabs them, accusing them of spreading rumours that he owes them money. He identifies himself as Clank. Clank and his friend Zippy kidnap the two and force them to keep a lookout for trouble while they "cause a bit of mayhem" in a nearby garage with baseball bats. Adam and Paul fail to notice the arrival of police and both Clank and Zippy are arrested.
The pair decide to take Clank's car to a fence, but crash in the process. Sitting on an old cooker down a back lane, they come across a flat-screen TV. They and Kittser, a stolen goods merchant, take the telly to Ballymun and attempt to sell it to an older man. But Kittser and the buyer argue and the telly gets damaged, forcing the again hopeless depressed Adam and Paul to leave. On the way out they pass the door of drug dealer Martin who is being raided by a gang of vigilantes. As the two sit outside the block, the contents of Martin's flat are thrown off of his tower block and land on the ground around the boys including two bags of heroin.
After spending the night in the centre of Dublin intoxicated on their find, Paul wakes up the next morning on Dublin Bay. Adam, who is lying behind him, has overdosed and is dead. Paul leaves with the two bags of heroin.
- Mark O'Halloran as Adam
- Tom Murphy as Paul
- Gerry Moore as Clank
- Anthony Morris as Zippy
- Ion Caramitru as Eastern-European Man
- Deirdre Molloy as Marian
- Mary Murray as Orla
- Paul Roe as Wayne
- David Herlihy as Kittser
- Eamonn Hunt as Gringo
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 3 out of 5 stars.
Total Film gives the film a score of 2 out of 5, describing the film as grim and saying only masochists need apply.
Leslie Felperin of the Radio Times gives the film 3 out of 5, calling it a "downbeat comedy or slapstick tragedy, depending on which way you look at it".
|This section requires expansion. (September 2012)|
Adam & Paul' has won the Best Director Award, as well as being nominated in 8 categories for the 2004 Irish Film & Television Award. These include Best Irish Film, Best Script, Best Actor and Best Music.
At the 2005 Berlin Film Festival, 'Adam & Paul' played to an enthusiastic reception as part of the official program of the Panorama section.
- "Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann – About Irish Film / News / ADAM & PAUL wowing the critics ahead of its UK release in cinemas". Irishfilmboard.ie. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Adam & Paul directed by Lenny Abrahamson starring Tom Murphy and Mark O'Halloran". Guerilla Films. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- Peter Bradshaw. "Adam & Paul | From". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Adam & Paul review". Totalfilm.com. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Adam and Paul | Film review and movie reviews". Radio Times. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Winners 2004 | IFTA | Irish Film & Television Academy | Irish Film & Television Awards". Ifta.ie. Retrieved 16 September 2012.