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Jimmy’s Hall: a Rehashing of Footloose

3 years ago by admin

Director Ken Loach has been in the movie business for half a century now. His first offering was Poor Cow, back in 1967. For every one great movie, there are four/five forgettable movies. His famous movies include:

  • The Wind That Shakes The Barley
  • Kes
  • Land And Freedom

His latest offering, Jimmy’s Hall, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was rumored to be his masterpiece. On the contrary, Jimmy’s Hall is a miss. The movie is set in the 1930’s (during the Great Depression) and rehashes the story of Footloose. Written by Loach regular Paul Laverty, the movie has a runtime of 109 minutes. During the 1930s, Jimmy Gralton returns to Ireland after a decade of exile in New York City. Saddened by the oppression and the scale of poverty, the activist in him awakens as he reopens the dance hall.

James Gralton is a deportee from Ireland for being in conflict with the Catholic Church. He returns to his hometown after spending years in New York City when he had a falling out with the church. The community center he initiated back remained closed since his departure, but children pester him to reopen it now. This idea doesn’t bode well with the Church, warning about westernization of their culture. He counters Jimmy’s moves of preventing activism efforts. Jimmy’s Hall meanwhile becomes a lively place for meeting new people, learning art and literature, while people dance their hearts out.

Jimmy’s Hall is a throwback to a rough time in Irish history, indicating that peacetime doesn’t always facilitate civil freedom. However, the movie is played along cartoonish lines, therefore being aggrieved isn’t at all easy. Moreover, the actual Gralton died in New York City in 1945. On the contrary, given the director’s explosive movies on the topic at hand, he downplays Hall voicing his communist opinions. Additionally, Father Sheridan is less politically active as compared to the real one.

The director has declared Jimmy’s Hall is his last major motion picture. However, he will continue to work on small-scale movies.

Photo credit: Facebook/Jimmy’s Hall

What do you think?