NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Parked Movie Review

By     get stories by email

While pulling one's car off a road without departing the vehicle seems to have been more often than not associated with a lovers' lane interlude in movies, that tradition may have become radically revamped these days in the midst of the Great Recession, as a last resort interior space to simply live in. Which just happens to be the predicament of the new and different 21st century protagonist in Irish director Darragh Byrne's dramatic film feature debut about homelessness on wheels, Parked.

Colm Meaney stars in Parked as Fred, a clock repairman just returned from England to his native Dublin, presumably now jobless and looking for work in the city he originally left for that very same reason. Demoralized and psychologically withdrawn, the middle aged recluse begins living in his car in a parking lot as an expedient measure, after facing the typical bureaucratic reaction when applying for shelter. Which is incredulously, that you're not eligible for housing if you don't have a verifiable home address in the first place.

But Fred's relative privacy if not comfort, is abruptly disturbed when a homeless youth likewise living in his car, takes up similar residency in a nearby parking space in the lot. The compulsively chatty Cathal (Colin Morgan)is as uncomfortable with isolation as Fred is disturbed by the lack of it, but he soon wears down the older man's resistance to forge an odd couple friendship. Though Fred's alarming discovery that Cathal is a junkie whose unsavory drug dealer suppliers turn up occasionally to beat him viciously for unpaid debts, both repels and arouses within himself an untapped emotional reservoir of protective paternal impulses.

There are delicately conveyed, wordless moments exploring Fred's solemn challenges to the humiliations of difficult survival surrounded by an uncaring reality. As he goes about salvaging whatever dignity and pride he can summon in performing routine tasks out of his car, like preparing meals, shaving and reading. And rendering his dire situation somehow a little more cheerful than it actually is, when for instance tending affectionately to a favorite plant soaking in the sun up against the car window.

But steering this narrative vehicle off course, is a story full of far fetched elements that opt for contrived, often way too coincidental shortcuts. And upstaging the striking imagery, which in contrast takes its time lyrically breezing through. Such as a predictable romance involving Finnish immigrant pianist Juliana (Milka Ahlroth), who always seems to materialize just in time all around town when the filmmaker is in need of a some sparks to fly for Fred. And with Fred himself single-handedly overpowering and driving off the entire gang of thugs terrorizing and nearly killing Cathal, despite being seriously over the hill and out of shape.

All of which tends to infuse Parked with the visceral impact of raw truth when it's a question of Meaney's destitute main character on the inside looking out at a callous world. But as for the outside looking in director's point of view, there's a distinct sense of a second hand experience only heard about from a comfortable distance, than in any way felt or endured.

Olive Films
2 1/2 stars

To see the trailer of Parked:

Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.
Created by Sir James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan was first produced as a play in 1904 and adapted into an illustrated novel seven years thereafter. The enchanting fairy tale made its screen debut as a silent movie in 1924, with assorted remakes, seque
Where to Invade Next hops from one topic to another, never lets the audience know what it's about and, after two hours of cinematic navel gazing, it's unlikely they care.
Prairie Miller has a Halloween Visitation. Cult Horror Director Sam Raimi drops in, Death Of A Salesman In Yiddish and classical concert pianist Hannah Reimann
Bond is back, possibly Daniel Craig's last outing. Can SPECTRE step out of the shadow cast by SKYFALL's great acclaim. Read Kingsley's review to find out!
This race hate documentary chronicles neo-Nazi relocation to Leith, a small town in North Dakota, and what the locals did to get rid of the supremacists.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site