An edgy comedy about a young man who rediscovers friendship love and the zest for life. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 06/01/2004 Starring: Stephen Rea Run time: 86 minutes Rating: R Director: John Carney
"There's a moment early on in John Carney's "On The Edge" that serves to self-assuredly define itself as the alternative to the tired, Hollywoodized coming-of-age genre. In a scene between Jonathan (Cillian Murphy) and his psychologist (Stephen Rea), a chidingly defiant Murphy declares there won't be any "Good Will Hunting" moments between doctor and patient. True to his word as the movie is true to its central point about the fragility and the value of life, there aren't any. And the result is quite simply a breath of fresh air.I won't bore you with plot points because I don't believe any self-respecting movie review should (hello Mr. Ebert). And anyway, like most good movies, "On The Edge" is the kind that should be watched with as little knowledge of the plot as possible so as to make its charm and impact that much more...charming and impactful.Cillian Murphy (of "28 Days Later" fame) delivers a subtle, understated but no less brilliant performance as a young man quietly grappling with his fate, slowly coming to terms with the value and importance of his own life.The script, often quirky and with a sometimes oddly upbeat feel for a movie that could have come off as an extreme downer, leaves plenty of room inbetween the lines for supporting actors Tricia Vessey and Jonathan Jackson to flex their more than capable acting muscles. Superlative acting vet Stephen Rea ("The Crying Game") is perfectly cast as a psychologist with baggage that's never so much stated as it is implied in his countenance.But it's Cillian Murphy that carries the movie with the effortlessness of ease, and a presence and ability that belies his years. Seeing Murphy at work, it's easy to forget you're watching a movie, and I can't recall a time that I've been more moved or captivated by the depth of emotion and compassion expressed by an actor in a mere reaction shot. It's downright fascinating to watch him steal scenes without uttering a word or twitching a muscle. But thief he is, whether he knows it or not, and it's one of the many things that adds an extra notch of respectability to a movie already rife with it.No less miraculous and awe-inspiring is director John Carney, who in addition to co-writing the script also scored the original music and sang lead vocal on the final song--something I haven't heard of being done since Sylvester Stallone crooned the theme song for his directorial debut "Paradise Alley" back when he was still respectable."On The Edge", although quite possibly a bit too emotionally heavy to watch time and time again, is without a doubt one of the best movies I have seen this year and is definitely worth a viewing."
Perfectly charming and thoughtful film!
Child of Clay | Massachusetts | 10/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great movie! I wholeheartedly agree with previous review extolling the virtues of this film's simplicity! The lead actor Cillian Murphy was excellent. I loved the story and setting and ....man I just loved this movie. There was a scene of the two lead characters standing against a blue ice cream truck with the guy holding bright orange creamsicles in his hands attempting to hug and console the sobbing girl. Wow! It doesnt do it justice me describing it....I will definitely look forward to more movies from this director and cast."
Don't underestimate the little guys...
Jennifer Lewis | South Carolina, USA | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie may be generally thought of as a drama, but it has a lot of comedic elements. On the Edge has a beautiful way of dealing with serious issues such as mental health and emotional dependency. All of the actors and actresses delivered outstanding performances; you would think that Cillian Murphy had been in movies his entire life. It's amazing that this film is virtually unheard of in the states. Simply put, it's a fantastic film, and I'm glad that I purchased it. "
Jewels in the rough
Fabulous Fiftys | Home to Brer Rabbit | 12/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At every turn during "On the Edge", you will be delighted and moved and horrified and amused when you discover the sheer jewels of dialogue and facial expressions and quirky but real human responses to the burdens they bear. They - the jewels of acting and writing and cinemetography - came so unexpectedly that each moment was as rich as the last. I'm so surprised both Cillian Murpny and Tricia Vessey aren't more prominent in the USA. They have enormous talent. "On The Edge" - because of the inestimable talent of its actors - is a warm, funny, tragic, lovely jewel in the rough - a rare find. The music is terrific too. Is there a soundtrack CD? I'd buy it tomorrow."
Showcases the true talent of Cillian Murphy
L. Gordon | 09/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cillian Murphy is not a new face to acting (well, at least, outside of Hollywood) and with this movie, you will understand what Mr. Murphy has in store in future films. He can truly act, even in a movie that may be slim of plot and writing. He takes what he is given and runs with it beautifully. He plays a suicidal young man who often contemplates what life holds for him as he stays in a mental institution. While there he meets two fellow troubled young people and through them he manages to find what life may be all about. A good cast, good soundtrack and an okay plot makes this film quite enjoyable."