WATCH THE TRAILER AND FILM HERE
First, the Recap:
Finding oneself. Discovering who we truly are in the scope of a massive world that simply keeps churning away, often oblivious to our day to day struggles, or otherwise noticing and only causing us to confront our own demons. Soon, we might find that how we’re influenced by the societal and social paradigms that surround us become sources of frustration and disappointment or revelation and reality. For one homeless Irish girl, Nola (Caoimhe Cassidy), life on the street is less than ideal, yet she survives off of the meager generosity of those passing by while also finding herself curiously disengaged from it all. Centered in her own little existence, Nola still faces another major challenge–males.
Drawn to men (Joseph Lydon, in multiple roles) who are an ever shifting mix of personalities and stereotypes, Nola attempts to see herself as a strong, intelligent woman while fighting against every possible notion these men, and anyone else, seem to have about her based solely on life circumstances and oft-required, but desperate, choices she makes to survive. Not willing to just fall prey to these expected pitfalls and hence being completely sucked under by the ocean of men’s decisions and whims, Nola still finds quickly that the road to becoming something greater than you are can be journey filled with joys, letdowns, victories, utter despair, anger, peace, love, hate, and a seeking to be valued both within and without in a way that has true meaning.
Next, my Mind:
Irish indie filmmaker Graham Jones, who both wrote and directed this decidedly eccentric project, delivers one truly affecting, deeply character-centered, in-your-face, tantalizing, yet oddly cheeky study of the human condition as seen through the eyes of one lonely, emotionally bereft girl whom most of the world doesn’t even genuinely acknowledge is present, while others only desire to use her for their own indulgences. Through it all, this wounded soul manages to plow through a sea of “clones” while laboring to change her stars in the midst of realizing how vulnerable she is and how the changes she seeks might forever elude her. Filmed with a gritty, intense sense of realism for the sphere Nola inhabits, it’s one dark, but strangely fulfilling road we follow her on in the search for self-realization.
Cassidy invokes a complete sense of wonderment and true admiration in her performance as Nola, creating a character that presents an earthy beauty plus a raw, almost haunting demeanor that fully illustrates the conflicts she’s immersed in while trying to simply be. Bringing moments that are sentimental followed by moments of sheer audacity as she takes on the men who orbit her life, Cassidy embodies Nola to a “T”, and this had to be extremely difficult at times to really dive into such a hurting individual’s fragile psyche. Likewise, Lydon’s constantly alternating role as the myriad of “clone” men holds a lot of weight in itself, as each one requires coming across in a manner that befits the “type” he’s supposed to enact. From the “nice guy” to the “loser” to the “shallow guy” to the indifferent “average joe”, Lydon navigates through these identities with an ease that also belies how challenging it had to have been to have them all look so similar, yet be completely different.
This won’t be a film for everyone. I, personally, wasn’t a huge fan of the harsher language and some of the more sexually-oriented content, so viewers simply need to be aware these elements exist. But, what is undeniable is that “Nola And The Clones” is one unapologetic look at what it could mean to ignore those around us we tend to think have no meaning or worth, because it could very much be those exact individuals who just might teach us some of the biggest lessons about being human while understanding our own need for God, a helping hand, acceptance, love, respect, and self worth.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!