MAD will have its UK premiere on Saturday 18th March at the 2017 Indie-Lincs International Film Festival.
The dysfunctional family is commonly portrayed in film, but not many films have the punch that MAD delivers. Phenomenal performances and a script that can switch from hilarious to heart-wrenchingly realistic in a heartbeat, make for a fantastic film about three women and the tough lives they live.
A mother of two bickering daughters (Maryann Plunkett’s Mel) is mentally breaking down after the failure of her marriage. Her two daughters decide to admit her to a hospital ward where they believe she won’t be able to bother them. The two sisters may sound like horrible people, but their flaws are what gives MAD it’s human tone. The eldest, Connie (Jennifer Lafleur), is a stuck-up workaholic who would rather forget about her mother and sister in order to focus on her own young family. Lafleur is excellent in the role, spitting sarcasm at anyone within reach and rolling her eyes at other peoples’ problems. Connie’s younger sister, Casey (Eilis Cahill), is a lost soul. Attempting to find some purpose, she joins a writing group but finds its judgemental members to be even more damaging to her confidence. Casey is much more sensitive than her sister and Cahill is brilliant at portraying a young women trying to find her inner strength. What’s most impressive about MAD is the characters’ growth. The scenes with Mel, Connie, and Casey interacting with each other are pure gold as – even though they outwardly insult each other in a darkly comic fashion – it is easy to see their true love for each other exude from such amazing performances.
Mel’s time in the hospital is where the film is either at it’s most humorous or most emotional points. Mel feels isolated and neglected by her two daughters and, especially after the breakdown of her marriage, she needs her daughters’ love more than ever. She does find solace in a new friend however, Mark Reeb’s Jerry who provides clever comic relief but also some incredibly moving moments. No scene is missing incredible acting talent and despite a short run-time, it’s impossible not to form an attachment with them.
An array of acting masterclasses and a story that is as funny as it is heartwarming, Robert Putka has written and directed an absolute gem with MAD. It’s a film that can easily compete with the best of dramas.
Written by Tom Durrans