In October 2006, at St. Andrews in Scotland, Britain, the Irish Republic and Northern Irish parties — including the Democratic Unionist Party (the D.U.P.) and Sinn Fein — negotiated what was called the St. Andrews Agreement, a power-sharing pact between Unionists and Irish republicans. The Journey focuses on two of those gathered to try and secure peace in Ireland -the Rev. Ian Paisley, who spearheaded the Democratic Unionist Party (Yes, the same pary that is holding up Theresa May’s government these days) and Martin McGuinness, a Sinn Fein leader. At the time the two hated each other and that for which they stood. They eventually formed a friendship and as the leaders of the Northern Ireland Assembly became known as the “Chuckle Brothers”. The film follows a fictitious drive the two take between St. Andrews and Belfast in which they allegedly warm to each other enough to agree to work together to find a solution. Many have criticized the film for not presenting the actual story. To me such is irrelevant.
The film presents a story that kept me involved the entire 94 minutes. It had drama, suspense, comedy and a definite feel of realism. Like any other film, there were brief moments that one had to suspend disbelief but they did not interfere with the flow of the story. The acting was excellent and the camera work conveyed the emotional upheaval going through each man as the journey continued. Those that knew the gentlemen say that the portrayals were quite good. I saw the film at a pre-release screening. It is too bad that evaluation cards were not passed out. All around me people were commenting on how much they were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the film. Hopefully this will be one of those instances where word of mouth overcomes the unnecessary critics ratings.