Saturday, 30 March 2013

"King of the Travellers" (The Guardian 29/03/13)

King of the Travellers (15) 80 mins **

This feels like a fictionalisation of Ian Palmer’s probing 2011 doc Knuckle, about rival clans of itinerants holding bare-fisted donnybrooks in damp Irish lay-bys, but the tone’s erratic. Writer-director Mark O’Connor’s aiming for authenticity, tying the travellers to those other migrant labourers persecuted by locals and landowners alike. Yet he trips over a vein of notionally crowdpleasing broad comedy that recalls Guy Ritchie’s Snatch, with its gold-chained chancers doing mushrooms in the woods. A bit of a flibbertigibbet: it arrives with a twinkle in its eye, and little else between its cauliflower ears.

King of the Travellers is showing in selected cinemas, ahead of its DVD release on April 8.

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