“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.”
In Belfast, Director Kenneth Branagh delivers a film that is not only based on his own life, but one that is a masterpiece of brilliance and realism. Belfast is amazing, with moments of happiness, sadness, and many difficult challenges. Branagh’s auteur directing submerses us in his childhood world of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The film is emotionally moving and visually engrossing.
Belfast focuses on a small boy named Buddy, played by Jude Hill, who lives in Belfast with his working-class family. His mom and dad are played by Catriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan, and his grandpa and grandma are played by Ciaran Hinds and Judi Dench. Buddy loves his life in Belfast, but his family faces uncharted territory with the tumultuous riots in Northern Ireland. The largely black and white cinematography of the film sets the tone for the mood of the film, but Buddy’s happy experiences are in color. I loved this aspect of Belfast.
The film made me think a lot about challenging times in my own life. Branagh reminds us to see the light in both good times and bad, and to always keep moving forward.
Although Branagh obviously had ups and downs during his time in Belfast, I loved that his film doesn’t focus on the depressing drama of those times; rather, he keeps the tone optimistic and pleasant. Belfast touched me, and it will touch many around the world. It reminds us to always focus on what motivates us in our life. Four stars for the brilliant Belfast.