18 November 2013


Parked 2010
  • Director: Darragh Byrne
  • Based on book: no.
  • Cast: Colm Meaney, Colin Morgan, Milka Ahlroth, Stuart Graham
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Colm Meaney  The Van, The Commitments, The Snapper, The Last Mohican
    • Colin Morgan – Merlin, Island, and on stage at the Globe Theater in London in June 2013 The Tempest
    • Milka Ahlroth  – She’s been in an awful lot of Finnish films and TV programs but I haven’t seen any of them  
    • Stuart Graham – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hunger, Song for a Raggy Boy, The Butcher Boy, Michael Collins
  • Why? Colin Morgan
  • Seen: November 16, 2013.

       Homelessness. Drug addiction. Loss. Finding your way home. Or not.
       Watching Parked makes me so sad, and I can’t shake the feeling.  Even in the funny parts, in the parts where young Cathal is laughing and goofing around and teaching Fred how to live again, even when Jules is applauding Cathal’s silly singing.
       The three characters have lost their anchoring in life.  Fred, in his late fifties, returning to Ireland from England, has no home and lives in his car.  Young Cathal has lost his mother and though she died from cancer, his father has kicked him out of the house, blaming her death on him and his drug addiction.  Pianist Jules has lost her husband.
       Cathal (pronounced Ca-hal) is an energetic optimist – or actually a speeded junkie – who shows the timid, socially inept Fred how to get the most out of a life that doesn’t have much to offer.  But as Fred starts to get back on his feet and form a friendship with the refined but grieving widow Jules, Cathal is pulled down into the drug world of violence and overdose.  Cathal’s kindness and humor in the face of utter bleakness helps the two older characters find their way home but he can’t help himself.  Fred’s innocence blinds him to the seriousness of his young friend’s drug abuse and he doesn’t even realize that help is needed until it’s too late.
       Colm Meaney is a natural in this role.  It probably is his strongest role, as one of the reviewers quoted on the DVD box said (although my favorite is his Elvis Presley singing Da in The Commitments).  Milka Ahlroth is strong as the widow slowly finding her way back to her music. I hope we see more of this Finnish actress. Stuart Graham delivers as the grieving father who can’t take anymore and ends up with even more to grieve for.
       But it is Colin Morgan who really carries the film. He takes a large step away from his Merlin role here but brings with him the uncanny ability to portray humor and deep-seated pain, often in the same time span of two or three seconds, in his rendering of a young Dubliner drug addict of the 21st century.  It’s an outstanding performance and rates at least a 10 in itself.  It pulls an already strong film up to

5* of 5

PS Two days after watching the film and writing this, it still haunts me.  The rating has risen to 10* of 10.


  1. What a wonderful film, so glad I took the time to see it. It's so sad and beautiful. I suppose it's not really a happy ending but it wouldn't be as great a film if it had. I think the ending gives hope for the future, loved it and Colin Morgan was superb!
    The film reminds me so much about “London to Brighton” which is also a beautiful but even sadder film.

    1. Wasn't he though! So glad you like it too. And thanks for the film tip. I've order it so hopefully I'll see it soon.