Film Review: “Glassland” (2014) ★★★

Photo by Patrick Redmond - © Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Photo by Patrick Redmond – © Courtesy of Sundance Institute

The story of the relationship between a mother and her son has been told in many movies. However, I’ve never seen it being unfold the way it’s been done in the Irish Indie drama “Glassland”, written and directed by Gerrard Barrett. Also, it uses an interesting way to open the eye of an alcohol addict mother, whose son does something, I hope, was done by someone in real life as it is a brilliant way to help see yourself from the eye of a sober person after seeing who you become after using a significant amount of alcohol.

“Glassland”, set in Dublin, tells the story of John (Jack Reynor), a young taxi driver who after finding his mother, Jean (Toni Collette) in critical condition at home due to alcohol intoxication, sets a high priority for himself to save his troubled mother from addiction. But before he takes action, he needs to figure out the first main step that won’t jeopardize the mission of his life. But how to do that if the person who he wants to bring back to normal life does not want to be saved?

The first five minutes of the film is quite emotional, which shows in the beginning the difficult journey of a man who, instead of building a new life for himself, tries to fix his current one, when he finds the only woman in his life in a vulnerable and critical condition. By the time when Jean opens her eyes in a local hospital, it already appears for you that it’s not going to be easy for John to handle his emotions. After all, no matter what she does, and how hard she tries to ruin her own life – she is his mother.

The most important scene that makes you wait for the moment of revelation is when Jean is going extremely mad and is emotionally uncontrolled and searches for alcohol in the kitchen. What John does is truly remarkable and is what should have been done by a thinking person; instead of stopping her from destroying the entire kitchen, he arms himself with his cellphone and starts recording her every insane and unthinkable action. When the right moment comes, he will show it to Jean as an example of a mother he never wanted to have. It’s all up to her, to decide whether to continue to do what she does, or seek for help that eventually will bring a long waited tranquility to her impossible to bear life.

In conclusion, “Glassland” may not get a wide audience, as it usually happens with small indie films, however, it will have a necessary amount of viewers just to see a fresh view of a life some can relate to. Toni Collette and Jack Reynor are impressive, capturing their characters with such depth. In the meantime, it’s a moving film about the search of the purpose of life, the lost purpose of life; it’s about addiction, devotion and determination of one man, who no matter what, won’t stop until he brings the love of his love back from darkness – his mother.

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