The Wind That Shakes The Barley

I finally bought The Wind That Shakes The Barley original VCD, I have seen it months ago but I didn’t want too buy it because it’s still in VCD not in DVD. We all know how bad the quality of VCD is and the subtitle with its horribly big font makes it even worse. But I have been searching for its DVD version everywhere and couldn’t find it 😦 , so…in the end, I bought the VCD version because I want to see this movie again.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley is one of Cillian Murphy’s best acting performance. TWTSTB is directed by Ken Loach and written by Paul Laverty. This movie is an independent movie. It was released at June 23, 2006 in Ireland and UK. It soon became the highest grossing independent movie in Ireland.

The movie was nominated with lots of awards and won some of it. British Independent Film Awards nominated it for best actor, best British independent film, best director, and best technical achievement. It won Golden Palm in Cannes film Festival 2006. European Film award nominated it for best actor (Murphy was also nominated for the same category for his act in Breakfast on Pluto), best director, best film, best screenwriter, and won best cinematographer. It won best Irish film in Audience Award and won best actor in supporting role (Liam Cunningham) and best film in IFTA Awards. IFTA awards also nominated it for best actor in lead role, best actor in supporting role (Padraic Delaney) and so on. Too many to write them all.

The story:

A group of Irishmen rise against the tyranny of British royal army after one of their friends is murdered in from of his mom. Damian O’Donovan, a young doctor played by Cillian Murphy, was planning to get back to London to be a doctor there. But an incident in the train station made him reconsidered his trip and ended up joining Irish Republic Army along side his brother, Teddy O’Donovan (played by Padraic Delaney). Their first attack was on the barrack where they stole weapons for their resistance. They also killed 3 armies in a billiard pub. This incident made the army furious and started looking for Teddy O’Donovan. Through Sir John, they forced Chris Reilly to tell them where Teddy and his friends were.

Teddy, Damian, and the others were caught and put into jail. Teddy was tortured because he wouldn’t tell the British army the location of their weapon. Damian met Dan (Liam Cunningham), the train engineer, and their friendship became stronger after that day. One of the Armies is Irish and he turned against the British by helping the Teddy and his friends out of the jail. But 3 people can not be saved and they were executed. Sinead told Teddy who snitched them out. Damian was told to kill both Sir John and Chris. I love seeing how Cillian managed to show an expression of agony in killing his own friend.

After lots of struggle, both party claimed a peace treaty. All the Irish were filled with joy, but soon they found out that the treaty is not what they wanted it to be. British government still had control over Ireland through something called Free State. The forming of Free State created a new problem in Ireland, it turned into a horrible civil war, Irishmen were fighting against another Irishmen. The two O’Donovan brothers were caught in the middle. Damian kept on fighting to gain full freedom for Ireland while Teddy decided to join Free State as a way to bring peace to Ireland.

How did the two brothers deal their situation becomes the peak of the story. It was so heartbroken. Although this is my second time watching it, tears are still rolling down my eyes in some scenes.

I always love watching war movie with heart. I never like a macho war movie such as Rambo, but I truly enjoy war movie that focused more on the heart of each character such as Saving Private Ryan, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, The Downfall (a German Movie), and many more.

It is true that I watched this movie because Cillian Murphy is one of the actors, however as I already wrote before…Cillian is not a guarantee that I am going to like every movie he ever played, take example of The Girl With A Pearl Earring. I really like TWTSTB because the story is really good and deep. And the fact that Cillian shows great acting ability is truly a satisfying bonus (plus, he looks so gorgeous in here). I like seeing how all the actors and actress poured out all their talent and heart into their role. And I also like seeing the chemistry between Damian and Sinead, their love grows slowly inside them. It’s a 5 stars movie for me.

Cillian Murphy special


    1. Hi Healy…can I assume from your comment that you like this movie? 🙂

      Yeah, gaining freedom is such a slow process…Indonesia, my country, also gained it a long time, even after declaring out independence we still had to fight for full independence

  1. I have got to see this movie!! I agree with you, I’m not a war movie fan, but I make exception to those that have ‘heart’ like you said. I heard there are some really hard-to-watch scenes here, this isn’t overly violent is it Nov?

    P.S. That photo of Cillian on the dvd cover is just irresistible. Gorgeous, gorgeous eyes!

    1. I didn’t see any hard-to-watch scene in this movie…This is an independent movie so the visual effect for such a violent is less than such a big budget movie like Saving Private Ryan.

      There’s more talk than war/shooting action in here…I really love seeing their emotion and how the story evolve from one war to another war.

      Hear hear!!! gorgeous eyes on a beatiful face 🙂 I can’t resist not to edit that picture, I’ve just made that picture looked sharper…and he looks more gorgeous.

  2. Loved this film too and it is one of the few films that accurately depicts the Civil War. And Cillian was fantastic in it too. Maybe not his best role, but one of the best.

    1. Civil war is really sad, isn’t it!
      Yup agree, This isn’t Cillian’s best act but surely one of his best. I hope he win an Oscar one day (his roles in peacock should at least be nominated)

  3. Hey Nov, I just got my hair cut this afternoon and my stylist said she loved Cillian, too. I immediately thought about you and was going to suggest this movie to her but she already owned the dvd 🙂 So I suggested that she watch The Edge of Love (I reviewed it a while ago: ). He’s not the lead but I wish he were!

    1. Yeaaa more Cillian Murphy’s fan 🙂 Say hi from me if you meet her again.

      I’ve seen The Edge of Love…weird love story. I watched it on TV and I don’t have it yet, that’s why I haven’t reviewed the movie yet

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