Tiger Raid Thrills Tribeca Film Festival

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Brian Gleeson and Damien Molony in "Tiger Raid"

Brian Gleeson and Damien Molony in Tiger Raid

How it’s New York: US Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival
How it’s Irish: Starring Irish Actors Brian Gleeson and Damien Molony

This year my time at the Tribeca Film Festival started with the visceral thriller from director Simon DixonTiger Raid.  Straight out of the gate, this film pits its two main characters, Paddy (Damien Molony) and Joe (Brian Gleeson) against each other, across the vista of war torn Iraq.

A devilish mix of psycho-drama and buddy-road pic, we find the two main characters, Irish mercenary cast-offs set adrift after the end of The Troubles in Northern Ireland,  on a mission to carry out a Tiger kidnapping of the daughter of a well-heeled Iraqi businessman.

Over the course of its 92 minutes, there is as much tension between the two as in the anticipation of the audience as to what will happen next. Paddy the newcomer, and Joe the seasoned veteran, use their combat backgrounds and tactics to get the job done for their off-screen boss Dave.

A definite undercurrent of distrust and suspicion runs through their interactions; you would imagine they both sleep with one eye open, though we never see them sleep as the film takes place over the course of 24 hours.

When they finally come upon their prey, the tension has already mounted to a fever pitch and the intensity of their relationship drives right on through to the finish.

Both Gleeson and Molony deliver first rate performances: Gleeson with his razor sharp wit and gruff exterior hiding a soft underbelly and Molony is deliciously twitchy and sinister, yet at times almost endearing when talking of reuniting with his long lost love.

The film is visually stunning through the cinematography of Si Bell and the driving soundtrack of Dean Valentine keeps things going at a fever pitch, or swings them down to a slow simmer.  Director and co-writer Simon Dixon reels the audience in with the initial camaraderie of the characters and then hits them with surprising twists around every corner.

The tiger in the mix here is Shadha, played by Algerian actress Sofia Boutella with much to say, even though she has very little dialogue to speak.

When things go wrong with their plan, both Paddy and Joe begin to unravel and the spiral towards the final climax raises many questions about just what their ultimate intentions are.

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Gleeson, Molony and Simon Dixon, along with co-writer and producer Gareth Coulam Evans, and that interview will be a part of our Tribeca podcast, coming soon.

Here’s hoping it will get picked up and have you on the edge of your seats at a theatre near you.

Brian Gleeson as Joe in Tiger Raid

Brian Gleeson as Joe in Tiger Raid

Tiger Raid

Brian Gleeson as Joe, Damian Molony as Paddy, Sofia Boutella as Shadha

Directed by Simon Dixon

Written by Simon Dixon and Gareth Coulam Evans

Based on the play “Radio Luxembourg” by Mick Donnellan

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Copyright 2016 New York Irish Arts