How it’s New York: “Pilgrimage'”was included in the Tribeca Film Festival.
How it’s Irish: Set and filmed in Ireland, it features an Irish cast and crew.
“Pilgrimage,” the upcoming Brendan Muldowney film which featured last week at the Tribeca Film Festival, is one of those rare cinematic gems, which ticks all the appropriate boxes. It is a road movie, or perhaps a ‘little-used woodland path’ movie, without the motorized vehicles.
It is a buddy flick, where men become friends and companions, but, perhaps more importantly, allies. It is an action flick, with enough battles and blood to keep hearts racing and pulses rising.
More than any of that however, it is an Irish production, set in an era we don’t often see represented in film (the 13th century),
featuring a talented ensemble cast of established and recognizable actors, mingle with a number of up-and-coming faces from Ireland’s drama scene.
Leading the pack, where casting is concerned is Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “World Trade Center”), who plays “The Mute,” a loyal, trustworthy, mysterious and seemingly battle-hardened individual, who’ll risk his life to protect the monks who took him in many years earlier.
Tom Holland, known for playing the title role in the stage version of “Billy Elliot” and his acclaimed performances as Peter Parker/Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, plays ‘The Novice’, a young monk, unafraid to take charge and speak his mind,
despite continually surrounding himself with his holier elders, and John Lynch, a seasoned actor, known as well for his early roles in Ulster-set productions as “Cal,” “In The Name of the Father” and “Some Mother’s Son,” as he is for playing the lead in a biopic about superstar soccer player George Best, and the recent “The Falls” detective series.
With an impressive support cast, which reads like a “who’s who” of the Irish drama scene, “The Pilgrimage” also features Richard Armitage (“The Hobbit”), Ruaidhri Conroy (“The Van,” “Clockwork Mice.” “Into the West”) and Hugh O’Conor (“Killing Bono,” “Lamb,” “Fergus’s Wedding”).
Filmed along the west coast of Ireland, along with various locations in Belgium, “The Pilgrimage” is a movie, which, when paused at several dozen points throughout the story,
a still could be blown up, and adorn the pride of place above a fireplace for generations: such is the sheer beauty captured by the productions cinematography team.
The cliffs, fields, forests and lakes are as much stars in this picture as the actors themselves.
The story concerns a group of 13th century monks, delivering, albeit reluctantly, a holy relic from their Irish monastery, to Rome.
Naturally, it is not a straightforward trip, and when the true value of the relic is revealed, the trip the monks take becomes increasingly more treacherous, with their faiths, loyalty to one another and to their God, being tested continually.
It is a story well-told, and a cinematic trip worth taking, just hope that your jaunt to the movies is less dramatic than the journey undertaken by these men of 700 years ago.