|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Regie:||John Michael McDonagh|
|Laufzeit:||Approx. 105 min.|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson), priest in a small Irish coastal village, has heard many incredible things during confession. But even he is surprised when one day a member of his community tells him that he will kill him next Sunday. Not because James did something bad. On the contrary, in order to set a sign against the crimes committed by other priests under the protection of the Church, a good priest should die. Since he was threatened during confession, James must not turn to the police. And since he has not recognized who has announced his imminent death to him, he now has to start searching for his murderer in his small congregation. But the time he has left flies by and there are still some things James wants done, if he really has to die on Sunday…
"On Sunday you're dead" is the second collaboration between director John Michael McDonagh and lead actor Brendan Gleeson, who in turn is based on the coast of Ireland, after the wonderfully black comedy "The Guard". But that's where the parallels actually end. While Gleeson played a cynical loner full of prejudices in McDonagh's feature film debut, here he gives a very calm, lovable priest who still believes in the good in his fellow men, although they convince him again and again of the opposite. And although there are some quite humorous moments, "Am Sonntag bist du tot" is first and foremost a depressing drama, which even takes on downright depressing traits towards the end.
Who is guided by the associations to "The Guard" and also by the supporting actors Chris O`Dowd ("The IT Crowd") and Dylan Moran ("Shaun of the Dead") expects a light comedy, which will probably be bitterly disappointed and unfortunately overlooks the movie's many strengths, which hide behind its drab facade. However, if you don't approach the story with the wrong expectations and get involved with John Michael McDonagh's idiosyncratic narrative style, you will realize in the end that his second directorial work has also become a real hit in his very special way.
The perfect composition of the fantastic images of the rough Irish coastal landscape captured by Stanley Kubrick's cameraman Larry Smith and the elegiac music of Patrick Cassidy alone is a real cinematic delight. And also the embedded play of the outstanding ensemble, led by a wonderfully restrained Brendan Gleeson, turns the small drama into great cinema. The story itself is told rather unagitatedly, whereby behind the leisurely staging an unexpected profundity reveals itself, through which especially the ending gets a special sustainability.
Surely, the material would have been very well suited to be told as a bitterly evil comedy. The moments when McDonagh gives his viewers a few laughs already make this clear. But on closer examination, it becomes clear that the decision to opt for a more serious keynote was absolutely correct, even though it addresses a much smaller target audience than "The Guard". John Michael McDonagh has shot a very unusual, but also thrilling film about guilt and atonement, which exposes the idyllic village community as a pure facade and thus lets the viewer look into all too human abysses. This is exciting, stirring, sad, but also amusing and evil. A pleasantly unadapted movie, that should not be missed especially by lovers of a bit weirder program cinema fare. Absolutely worth seeing!
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