One of the most well-known stories in the Bible is that of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger brother leaves home and squanders his life and wealth, only to return home and be fondly welcomed back into the flock by his father. Over the centuries, this idea has been adapted into literature, art, theatre and other aspects of popular culture. In his new film, Redemption of a Rogue, director Philip Doherty puts a uniquely Irish spin on the story.
Jimmy Cullen (Aaron Monaghan) left his native Cavan under somewhat of a cloud. Infamous for costing the local team victory in a big match, he left his brother (Kieran Roche) to care for his ailing father and his then girlfriend to deal with the aftermath of a car crash. His return coincides with the death of his dad, whose will stipulates that he can’t be buried on a rainy day. Cue a constant deluge. Desperate to ‘escape’, he looks for a solution.
Redemption of a Rogue is a darkly comedic and often bleak tale of absolution, abuse and desperation. Many of the themes Doherty’s film deal with are grim but he approaches the task with a dry and acerbic wit. Reminiscent of the work of John Michael McDonagh and early Coen Brothers’ output, whilst there’s a stagey feel to the material it’s handled with an inventive and irreverent edge. Although Redemption of a Rogue doesn’t always hit its target, it’s an amusing and outlandish yarn.
Redemption of a Rogue screens at Glasgow Film Festival.