“Long Life Ned Devine!” (1998)
The movie “Long Life Ned Devine!” is written by Kirk Jones and is published in the United Kingdom 1998. The length of the movie is 87 minutes and it is a British comedy. The main characters are Ian Bannen, who plays the role of Jackie O´Shea, David Kelly (plays Michael O´Sullivan), Susan Lynch (Maggie O´Toole) and James Nesbitt (Pig Finn). It is a movie about a small village which feigns the life of a dead person, who wins the lotto, to get the win of the lotto.
This movie takes place in a small village named Tullymore, where only 52 people life. There is one person who wins the weekly lotto, so the whole village is nervous because they don’t know who wins it. The two friends Jackie and Michael want to find out who is the winner, so they ask everyone indirectly. Because of that, Jackie goes to the house of Ned Devine and there he finds him dead from a shock in front of the TV with a smile on his face. In his hand he still holds the ticket with the right lotto numbers. Jackie decides to call the police the next morning. But in that night, he has a dream where Ned Devine says to Jackie that he should make a party with the benefit of the lotto.
So, at the next day he calls together with Michael the National Lottery. Michael says he is Ned Devine and after he hears that he earn nearly £7 million, they want to tell it to the whole village. But one woman, Lizzie Quinn, doesn’t want to share the win fairly, because she wants £1 million. Jackie agrees, but in his mind he doesn´t want to give it to her.
Lizzie Quinn goes to the next phone station and wants to tell the lie to the National Lottery, but then an unfortunate event happens. Can Lizzie Quinn stop the agent of the National Lottery?
The presentation of the whole movie is successful. The choice of the costumes of the characters is suitable for the story. The people live in a small village, so they wear simple clothes like a simple trousers and a shirt. The design of the characters and the surroundings are compatible with the plot and the content of the movie. If the characters wear expansive suits and dresses, the story wouldn´t be realistic.
The requirement of the technique and the camera perspectives and movements aren´t high, because all are very simple. They aren´t used any special effects or special technique. The funny atmosphere is underlined by either dark light or bright light.
The music underlines the situations in the scenes, because the music is funny and makes a comical atmosphere. It is a helpful support to show the comical aspect of the movie.
Additional, the scenes flow from scene to scene, so you are always in the plot and know what happened before.
This movie is a good example for the typical British humor. It is a typical British movie with the typical humor of the British people. Furthermore, there is a balance between the comedy which is influenced by the dark comedy and the British understatements. So, serious moments become funny because the movie is designed with many understatements by the music and the way the characters act. For example the scene where the main characters Michael and Jackie find the dead Ned Devine. At first, they are shocked. But then they have the idea to form his face from a smile to an unhappy expression. And during this action, the denture of Ned Devine falls out of his mouth. Michael and Jackie play the situation down and so there is an understatement of the death. Finally, the actual sad situation becomes a really funny moment.
Besides, the British humor is marked by the directness of the inhabitants of the village. They say it how it is and don´t think before they say their opinion. This aspect of the humor makes the movie funnier because it shows the solidarity and they take the things how they come. The directness plays situation down.
In addition, the movie shows solidarity because nearly the most villages have one opinion when Jackie and Michael tell them about the lotto win. The whole village wants to feign the agent of the National Lottery. And this is a typical symbol for the small British villages. The strong team spirit forebode that they don´t need anyone else because they live on their own and no one can interject their solidarity.
Accordingly, the friendship plays in this movie an important role. The friendship between Michael and Jackie is underlined by the British humor because in a very sad moment when another person stands in the foreground, Jackie speaks about his best friend Michael and says how much he regards him. So, in this case the British humor interrupts a serious moment, too.
In summary, the plot and the presentation of the movie in my opinion succeeded. The story is very simple and the main facts about it are in the film. There are many scenes which are funny and very entertaining. When you hear the music soundtrack, you already can imagine that it will be fun to see the movie. So, the soundtrack creates a good mood and gives you the first information about the following film.
One critical point is that some scenes are unrealistic, because for me it isn´t possible to feign the agent of the National Lottery. I can´t imagine that it is so easy to play another person without getting nervous. Agents of National Lotteries are educated to see who the real person is and which one lies, so I think it isn´t realistic that the agent doesn´t read their faces.
Besides, the movie practices critical aspects about the British society, because this movie represents them as cash-hungry people. It seems that the people aren´t sad about the death of Ned Devine and they only want the lotto win. One more evidence for this argument is that every inhabitant of Tullymore wants to know who won the money. They only are interested in money and don´t care about the dead person as a human. The thoughts of the inhabitants only rotate about the win. This is for me a critical aspect of the British society.