Set in the year 1971, Gary Hook is a British soldier who is part of a unit deployed to the troubled area of Northern Ireland. When his unit is involved as part of what should be a routine operation, things dont go according to military planning and Gary finds himself alone, trapped and in grave danger as he tries to survive a hostile situation.
2014 was one hell of a year for Jack OConnell, Its the year of Starred Up, Unbroken, and ’71 all coming out within a few months of each other and all showing just how brilliant an actor Jack is. Although anyone who had seen his earlier work in TVs Skins or films such as Tower Block or Eden Lake didnt need reminding that this guy is talented. However, It was the three hitter of Unbroken,’71 and Starred Up that put him on the map for a lot of people who werent familiar with the Derby born actor.
Whilst the setting, storyline and everything else that goes into ’71 is impressive. For me the films success or failure sits on the performance of Jack OConnell and it most certainly succeeds with a performance that actually involves very little dialogue from Gary Hook (Jack OConnell’s character) But its not the lack of dialogue that makes success, its the fact that we root for Gary, we dont really know him but we worry about him, we hope he gets home to his little brother.All down to Jacks performance, and that of the supporting cast. We hope that the good guys win and the bad guys dont get away with it.
When I put out a tweet earlier saying I was settling down to rewatch ’71, at least two people said that the film was underrated. I dont feel that the film is underrated as ive not heard a bad thing said about the film from anyone who has seen it. But I do feel that not enough people have seen it. ’71 deserves to be watched, not just because a lot of hard work went into it, but because its a bloody good film made by really talented people.
71 is available on DVD, Digital, and often pops up on television. Please watch it.