Wild Mountain Thyme Movie review plugged in & Summary – So hasn’t himself from “Fifty Shades of Grey” gone all forty shades of green in the new fillum, “Wild Mountain Thyme,” named for the haunting ballad that we Irish are taught at the teat, and apt to burst into once we’ve a bellyful of stout in us. Mind you, the song is maybe more Scottish really but don’t be worrying; we get mixed up between Ireland and Scotland ourselves most days, never knowing if we’re to wake up in Dingle or Dundee and not much minding one way or the other cause aren’t there cows to be feeding, donkeys to be proposing to and a lot of things to be falling off, walls and rowboats and high horses and the like. Anyway, this new fillum (which you’d want to remind yourself is a fillum and not a documentary, so perfectly does it capture the pure magical craic of living on the Emerald Isle) is fierce romantic, which is hardly to be wondered at, sure isn’t it adapted by yer man John Patrick Shanley from his own play “Outside Mullingar” and as any decent Irish person knows, there’s literally no place on God’s green earth with more of the ring of romance to it than …Mullingar.
Come here till I tell you. There’s this flame-haired colleen, Rosemary (Emily Blunt, whose brogue is not so much not-Irish as all-Ireland, even in the shortest sentences skipping around the country like a leprechaun hitting a sliotar) whose Da – God rest him – once told her she was a swan and who has lived on a farm all her life pining for the bogger next door, Anthony. And sure, why wouldn’t you pine, isn’t he played by yer man Jamie Dornan who is such a dirty ride we can even forgive him for being from the North. Anthony is fine, but he’s also a bit of a gombeen, who’s got a hold of the notion that he’s stone mad – why, we only discover late in the game, and let me tell you, ’tis quare indeed. Anthony’s Da, Tony (Christopher Walken, honestly rather good) is driven demented by his son acting the maggot, and is thinking about leaving the farm to his New Yorker nephew Adam (Jon Hamm) when he dies – God rest him. In the post one day, isn’t there a letter from America, (like the famous song by noted Irish band The Proclaimers), that tells Tony that Adam is indeed interested in taking over. He flies in, marches around like he feckin owns the place, takes one look at Rosemary in one of her high-necked ankle-length gúnas, and is away off, inviting her to New York and dropping hints about marriage. You know how Americans are.
Wild Mountain Thyme Movie review plugged in & Summary –Course, now that her mother (Dearbhla Molloy) has also died – God rest her – all Rosemary wants is to take care of Anthony. But he’s off in the fields with a metal detector, in the fancy rainjacket that Adam brought him from the Big Apple (in all seriousness, fair play to ex-model Dornan for wearing that trenchcoat for all the world like a man who has never even heard of Burberry). How did things ever get so arseways between the pair of them, sure aren’t they made for each other? It takes the death of half the cast (God rest them), some shenanigans involving the two gates that separate the farms, a quick Aer Lingus-sponsored trip to Manhattan, and a few speeches lifted from the Little Book of Blarney, delivered against cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt‘s tourist board backdrops, before they… ah, go away out of that, that’s for me to know and you to find out.
Now, ‘twould only be right to warn you that for all the cast give it an honest lash (Dornan and Walken in particular), if you’ve no fondness for the song and all its “go lassie go”ing, you might want to choose a different fillum. First thing you know, there’s a flashback to Anthony’s mother – God rest her – standing at the sink in a housedress from The Emergency, doing the dishes and singing a beautiful, melodious rendition of “WAP.” Ah, I’m only slagging you, it’s “Wild Mountain Thyme” (Cardi B is banned in Ireland), and from then on, we hear it a lot, even getting a big aul’ singsong in which the entire cast of characters, living and dead – God rest them – join in. And whenever it’s not playing, Amelia Warner‘s fiddle-and-accordion score more than makes up for the want of it, delivered with all the dy-del-ee-eye welcomeness of a trad session breaking out in the pub when you’re trying to have a quiet pint.
Wild Mountain Thyme Movie review plugged in & Summary –Now, I know some cute hoors have been giving out ever since they watched the trailer on the Google, that the fillum’s portrayal of Ireland is “unrealistic” and “condescending,” the accents are “godawful,” the story “ridiculous.” Oh, it makes me want to shake a shovel at them! It’s like they think Ireland is a real place and not a Brigadoon-type mystical island that sank into the choppy Atlantic waters sometime around the time of the Great Hunger and now only emerges from the briny depths when summoned by the American imagination. Speaking from personal experience as a fictional creature made of three-parts shamrock, two-parts rainbow, and one-part outdoor plumbing, I can tell you “Wild Mountain Thyme” is a very accurate portrait of modern Irish colleen/gombeen relationships. ‘Tis true, we none of us own a computer or a mobile phone (the air’s so thick with faeries and Catholicism that you can’t get decent Wifi anyway); we all gather famine-era shawls about our shoulders while eating stew and staring out the window thinking lyrical thoughts about the Rain and the Land and the Sky; and we all think, as Anthony does, that “a man with feelings should be put down.”