Despite some unbelievable moments, “Winter’s End” is a film that is a pleasure to watch. Characters’ motivations are realistic, and the
acting is definitely up to the level of the script. Will this be the finest film to come out of Ireland? No, but it is well worth seeing.
When Jack (Adam Goodwin) goes back to retrieve his car after a drunken night at a concert, he is shocked to discover it has been stolen. A farmer named Henry (Michael Crowley) offers the use of his phone, and the next thing Jack knows he is chained up in Henry’s barn and saddled with the knowledge that nobody knows he’s there. When Henry’s scheme is finally revealed, Jack realizes that his life will be over after he performs one special, twisted deed.
While this sounds like a thriller, it is really a tale about
responsibility and growing up. Jack starts the film as a bit of a party guy and ends up in a totally different place. Henry, who started out life as a responsible citizen doing the right thing, ends up an alcoholic criminal who refuses to accept what has happened to him. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that isn’t quite clear until almost the end of the film.
As mentioned earlier, there are moments that don’t ring true, but they make the story work regardless. If you can suspend your disbelief, you will find a quiet, sometimes subtle film with something important to say.