The troubles in Ireland have been the basis of many a film, usually directly in one-way or another. Bad Day For The Cut takes an unconventional viewpoint.
Donal, Nigel O’Neill (Game Of Thrones (TV), Vikings (TV)), lives with his ma in a rural farm, somewhere in Ireland. One day, whilst half-cut and sleeping in his new campervan, he hears a noise and sees a well-dressed man leaving the house, Trevor, Stuart Graham (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Foreigner). When he runs in, he finds his ma has been brutally murdered.
A few days later, some men come back to finish the job but Donal, ever resourceful, sees one of them off. Not understanding why any of this is happening to him he manages to convince the other polish man Bartosz, Jozef Pawloski (Bodo (TV), Warsaw ’44), to help him track down the people responsible.
Bartosz agrees because the people have his sister, Kaja, Anna Prochniak (Bodo (TV), Warsaw ’44), who needs saving too. The person behind all this is Frankie Pierce, Susan Lynch (Bodies (TV), Monroe (TV)). She is convinced that Donal’s ma had something to do with the death of her father and she’s turned into a psycho to bring retribution.
Donal can’t believe that his sweet, innocent mother has done anything wrong, whereas Pierce is convinced she was the devil incarnate.
Director Chris Baugh (Lily’s Driftwood Bay, Sesame Tree (TV)), who also co-wrote along with Brendan Mullin (Boys From County Hell (Short)), has created a nice little stylish revenge, thriller with some funny, black-humour moments thrown in too. It’s well directed, putting you on the edge of your seat on many an occasion.
It can take a while for Bad Day For The Cut to get moving but when it does you won’t want to take your eyes off it. O’Neill is great, starting off as a down-in-the-mouth loner, coming across as almost shy. Later though, he’s a bundle of energy and emotions as he lurches from one extreme event to the next, tackling each in a no-nonsense approach.
Lynch is scarily good as the passionate woman seeking revenge. She explodes in anger on a few occasions and it will have you jumping in your seat at the switch she put on. From calm to thunderous in under two seconds.
Pawloski plays the hapless Bartosz, the man who attempts many things, but succeeds at very few. He’s hapless, to say the least, but he knows the people involved and warns Donal not to get involved.
The whole story does a complete 360 on us with a classy ending, echoing events at the start. The undercurrent of the troubles of yesteryear still acting on these families even now, with the violence of ‘one for you, one for me’ putting things in a never-ending cycle.
Bad Day For The Cut isn’t perfect, there are more than one eye-roll moments where characters do things that can leave you exasperated, but overall it’s a darkly-humoured, edge of your seat thriller with some stellar performances.