The Young Offenders (2016)

Review – The Young Offenders (2016) .

Two unfortunate Irish teenagers devise a criminal plan in this funny and genuinely sweet Irish comedy-drama.

In 2016 writer-director Peter Foott made his debut on-screen with this witty comedy, and it deserves a round of applause. This film is hilarious but more than that it pulls at your heart strings in a genuinely heart-warming fashion.

Loosely based on a real event in 2007 when there was a seizure off the West Coast of Cork coast of a record €440 million worth of cocaine. This Irish coming-of-age story follows two 15 year old West Cork boys, Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) cycling 100 miles to Three Castle Head desperately dreaming of finding a bale of cocaine worth €7 million washed up from a captured trawler.

Jock and Conor are an opportunistic but unfortunate duo, who are bored with their regular, monotonous daily routines. Jock being a bike stealer and Conor working at a fish stall run by his single mother Mairead. (Hilary Rose).

But, once Jock finds out about the bale of cocaine he runs to Conor offering up a ludicrous plan to retrieve the loot. For the rest of the film it plays out absurdly funny situations that the duo get themselves caught up in, like when they retrieve the cocaine and strap it to the back of their bikes not realising the bag is ripped, allowing the white dust to trail along the road behind them. Only to figure it all out when all the cocaine was gone. From the very beginning of the film the sharp and witty script portrays a spot-on depiction of adolescent boys, similar to that of The Inbetweeners.

As far as comedy is concerned Foott manages to keep the amusing tone whilst introducing darker elements. Predominantly in the most heart-wrenching scene of the film when Jock is found covered in bruises from the abuse by his alcoholic father. This theme of abuse and neglect follows Jock all the way through the duo’s journey as he only wants the bale of cocaine to get away from his abusive father. It is heart-breaking but Jock’s ideas on how to save himself are so dim it renders a comedic overtone on the darkness.

As low-cost Irish Film’s go this is one to watch. If you want to laugh and cry all in the space of 1 hour and 25 minutes, this will be your best bet.