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The student newspaper of Imperial College London

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Issue 1754
The student newspaper of Imperial College London

Keep the Cat Free

On Fatherhood and Family

Calm with Horses ★★★★

1754 0027


in Issue 1754

Directed by: Nick Rowland

Year of Release: 2019

Starring: Cosmo Jarvis; Barry Keoghan; Niamh Algar; Ned Dennehy; David Wilmot; Simone Kirby

Calm With Horses came out earlier this year, but it has now made its way on to Netflix. Set in Ireland, it tells the story of Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong: a father to an autistic child in a broken home and the loyal enforcer for the Devers crime family. As the Dever’s requests of Arm become more violent, he must pick between his loyalties and decide how to play his rotten hand. Cosmo Jarvis brilliantly reflects the two halves of Arm’s life. While he is constantly struggling to prove himself to the Devers and to meet their needs, the people he really tries to impress are his ex-partner and his son. Around them he is thoughtful, witty, delicate, and vulnerable— a stark contrast to his brutishness when he is around Dymphna (one of the young leaders of the crime family, played by Barry Keoghan). Calm With Horses is both immensely exciting and hilariously funny; however, what sticks out most is the bond between a father and a son. Arm is not the man his son deserves, and while he knows this all too well, he struggles to break the cycles of error that trickle down the generations. In his son’s happiness, and in his isolation, he sees himself and Arm discovers that being a father is not about giving, it is about sacrificing. It is this transformation of personality that makes this movie a great little watch.The depth of the cast and the skill of the filmmaking do not let on that it is in fact Nick Rowland’s first feature-length movie.

Calm With Horses is a fabulous 90 minute movie, and it’s streaming on Netflix now.

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