Fred (Colm Meaney) spent much of his life working in the UK. When he returns to Ireland, he has nowhere to live but his car. But no address, no benefits and so Fred is stuck, trying to make his life into as much of a normal routine as he can. Until young Cathal (Colin Morgan) parks next to him. Cathal is pretty much constantly high and basically the antithesis to Fred, but somehow they take a shine to each other and Cathal is able to get a bit more movement into Fred’s life.
Parked is not a film that surprises you much. It goes pretty much down the way you’d think. But it tells its story with a lot of sensitivity for its characters and their situation and it has two great lead actors, so you don’t really care that you basically knew the story before seeing it.
Since I don’t watch Merlin (yet), I didn’t know what to expect from Colin Morgan and I was really blown away by his performance. He was absolutely fantastic, from his nervous energy to the facial ticks to the desperation that shone through every once in a while – it was all dead-on. Next to his flashier performance, Colm Meaney and his Fred risked going under but they never did. In his quiet stillness, Colm Meaney managed to make Fred as much of a draw as Cathal’s constant movement.
And they both work really well together. You get how and why the two of them become and stay friends, despite the unlikeliness and their differences. It just fits. And that this friendship works is absolutely central to the film.
I also liked Fred’s relationship with Jules (Milka Ahlroth). I liked the quiet, bit-by-bit way of their contact. It felt realistic and it was sweet. So it didn’t matter that you could tell where things were headed. It was extremely touching nevertheless. [SPOILER] Despite the fact that Cathal’s death scene was a little over the top, with the fire and everything. Felt a bit forced. [/SPOILER]
Plus, it was a really nice comment of the absurdities of bureaucracy which was great, too. I really enjoyed it.
Summarizing: If you can catch it, do.