Director: Rachel Carey
Writer: Rachel Carey
Stars: Ericka Roe, Shauna Higgins, Pauline McLynn, Victoria Smurfitt, Angeline Ball, Thommas Kane-Byrne
Release date: October 8, 2021
After the explosion of Irish comedy, powered by the adaptations of Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown trilogy (The Commitments (1988), The Snapper (1990) and The Van (1991). The past decade has seen a lull in authentic Irish voices on both the big and small screen. Instead replaced by “to be sure to be sure” of the Fáilte Ireland failure, Wild Mountain Thyme or the panto humour of Mrs Brown's Boys. Deadly Cuts is a welcome throwback of real, recognizable and relatable Irish voices. It’s a rare treat to hear inner city, working-class voices that are not the butt of the joke or drug dealing anti-heroes.
Set in the fictional but all too recognizable Piglinstown. Deadly Cuts sees the ladies of its titular salon battling gentrification, gangsters and the glitterati of the hairdressing community. After a local Gangsters attempt to extort the girls goes violently wrong. The salon superheroes have to save themselves, the shop and the local area by winning the fabulously titled " Ahh Hair " competition.
First-time writer-director Rachel Carey delivers a swaggering confident debut. Blending comedy and drama with a highlight of the absurd. A mix of Arrested Development, Little Miss Sunshine and Blades of Glory. She nails the tone. Effortlessly shifting between humour and heart.
She's helped by a universally excellent cast. Each one afforded their own moment to shine. The ageless Angeline Ball is a lightning rod for the rest of the inexperienced cast to seize their moment. Thommas Kane-Byrne (unrecognizable from his recent run-in Kin) steals every scene he is in. While “Giz a laugh” star Enya Martin gives an assured debut that all but confirms her future lies on bigger screens than a phone.
However, the breakout star is Erika Rowe. She injects Stacey with a tenderness that contrasts her outward bravado. She is desperate to seek validation from her indifferent mother but is unafraid to stand up to anyone who crosses her adopted sisters. Roe is equally hilarious and heartbreaking. A star-making turn from a performer with boundless potential that can't help but demand your attention whenever she is on screen.
Deadly Cuts is the funniest movie of the year and one of the best Irish comedies in decades. Charming, genuinely touching and not to mention hilarious. Filled with characters that will have cinema goers nudging their friends with “that’s you”, it's tremendous fun. Writer/director Rachel Carey has given us a funny, feminist and uniquely Irish comedy that is destined for a cult following. With rumours swirling we may see Deadly Cuts make the jump to TV. I am “dyeing” to see more from the ladies of Piglinstown.
4 out of 5
Words: Andy McCarroll @andymc1983
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