Revenge thriller that meanders and has been misdirected but is ultimately satisfying. Donal (Nigel O’Neill) lives on a farm with his aged mother. She needs constant care and he needs to find a life outside of this. When she is murdered, he is heart broken but when two men turn up to finish him off, he is charged. He frees himself and kills one but the other promises to help him find answers to his questions. Who killed her? and who now wants him dead? Why have they chosen to do this?
Chris Baughs Bad Day for the Cut is not the stand out masterpiece that simple and easy pleased film goers at Sundance (many of who have not seen cinema prior 1971 and dont know this was a whole genre). It is however a considerable effective and well made film about the destructive power of revenge and love. Its screenplay does something exceptional in today’s film world. It allows its lead character to breath. To grow and to be defined as a person. Nigel O’Neill is a exceptional choice as the tender and warm Donal. He gives great feeling to his work. Adding slight touches and mannerisms that both unpack his affection and his menace as well. Director Baugh focuses our attention on this to great effect. Donal becomes our centre and helps us navigate in a world of violence and criminality. This never on any occasion fails to fall into the trap of simple black and white, good and bad. Keeping the audience with Donal but also allowing us to invest in the world we are forced to confront. Now this is where the film also falls down. You see the films lacks an edge. It lacks a bite. It doesn’t stand in a place and take that stand as a driving factor. Exmple? Here goes. It does comment on Northern Irish history and does so with balance and thought. However it spoils this because it never calls in the actions that were ascribed to either side and this would have been deep motivation for actions in the film. Its focus boils down to love and its thin line between hate and hurt. The sales pitch for this film is where I feel it falls off. Its been dressed up as a violent revenge thriller but it should be seen as a meditation on destructive love.