Now I understand this may not be a mainstream film, I have no idea where it’s out or when it’s being realised in other countries. But if it is screening near you, I’d highly recommend it. This movie is based off a book by Compton Mackenzie and he based it off a true story of a shipwreck being looted by Islanders off the West Coast of Scotland when it washed up near their Island during WW2. I saw the original black and white film when I was wee and remembered it being very funny and a good story. Also because my partner enjoys drinking whisky I thought he’d find it funny as well.
On the whole, I thought it was fantastic. It captured the spirit of what it means to be Scottish so well and shows the best of our culture without making us seem twee or too tartany. Basically, it didn’t feel like a piece for the tourist board which some films about Scotland do. It was beautifully shot with stunning scenery both around the West Coast near Glasgow, up in Portsoy in Aberdeenshire and on the coast in Fife. It definetly reminded me of Local Hero, which was also filmed on the Aberdeenshire coast and is considered a classic in Scotland.
The casting was also great and I think everyone really shone in their including all the slightly more minor characters and they managed to get the balance just right of funny but not caricatures. They all had great chemistry and on screen presence and it really felt like they had a ball making it.
The plot did start a bit slowly, I will admit but it really picked up once the shipwreck happened.I loved the plot development of that they couldn’t raid the boat when it washed up because it was the Sabbath because that has long been part of the deeply engrained religious heritage on the Hebrides and I think always will be. It was such a great twist and really gave another side to the Island and it’s residents.
My favourite scene was definetly the end when they were all celiedh dancing and Macroon (played by Gregor Fisher) after shedding a few tears at both his daughters getting married jumped up and started dancing in the middle of everyone. It made me want to go to a Celiedh and Scottish Country Dance so much! After all, the ending was a celebration of love, of marriage, of community and of course, of whisky.
To conclude, if this film is showing near you in the next few days, definetly go and see it. It will lift your spirits and make you laugh as well as pulling at your heartstrings when it needs to.
What are your thoughts? Has anyone seen or heard of this? Or had anyone seen the original? Would you go and see it?