As I seem to mention every time I watch one, I’m not a big fan of dark comedies. However, I’m starting to think that they’re a genre particularly well suited to a short format. Protagonists in dark comedies tend to be rather bad people, or if they’re good people, they’re the victims of actually rather terrible circumstances. This can make it tough to spend two hours with them, however short films are another subject. You get in, get some laughs, and end the story. It works.
I started thinking this a few weeks ago when I watched Six Shooter, and I thought it again as I watched today’s movie, Noreen. The two shorts have a lot in common. Both are Irish dark comedy shorts involving the death of an unusual household pet, and both star Brendan Gleeson.
Noreen is actually something of a Gleeson family affair. It was written and directed by Domhnall Gleeson, (who also acted a small part in Six Shooter), and the lead characters are played by his father, Brendan, and his brother Brian Gleeson.
The film is about two police officers in rural Ireland, who, as the tag line states, have no idea what they’re doing. Veteran officer Con (Brendan Gleeson) and his rookie partner Frank (Brian Gleeson) are called to investigate a report of a loud bang in a residence on Christmas. Of course, they proceed to make a complete mess of things.
This is a dark but genuinely funny movie. It’s something of a spoof on police procedurals, illustrating that all the cleverly devised investigatory processes don’t mean a lick if the officers implementing them are idiots. I really enjoyed Noreen a lot. It’s absolutely Worth Seeing.