Meaney plays Fred, a middle-aged man who has returned to Dublin for unknown reasons after years in England. Refused the dole and housing, Fred has taken to living in his car, which is parked in a deserted car park that looks out onto a beachfront. A few spaces down in a similar situation is Cathal (Morgan), a twenty-year-old drug addict with a cheery demeanour. He's here to lift the fog surrounding Fred and give him the confidence to approach Jules (Ahlroth), a pretty piano player at a gospel church. But dealer Frank (McElhatton) is putting the squeeze on Cathal and Fred is now in the firing line...
The opening shot is a peaceful one: a serene Meaney gazes out across the water, scribbling the odd line in his notebook. Behind him, though, a wrecked car is scrawled with 'scum'. At first it looks like the juxtaposition of ugliness in beauty but as the film progresses (this scene is a flash-forward to the end) it's the opposite: there is beauty to be found in the ugliness. This theme pops up every so often: these men are living out of their cars, sure, but they find a friendship they wouldn't have if they didn't.
Playwright Ciarán Creagh's script finds a nice balance between over-dramatising the events and deliberately downplaying them. The burgeoning romance between Fred and Jules never gives over to melodrama - watching them go through the will they/wont they there is a yearning that the ante would be upped and there can be certain frustration that it never does, which could be the reason it works so well. Where Creagh pulls no punches is in the depiction of the Department of Social Welfare, which isn't painted in the greatest of light.
Everyone's favourite Meaney is probably The Snapper's Dessie Curley (or maybe Intermission's Clannad-loving detective), but Fred is a different Meaney. It's a Meany is quiet mode, turning everything down in a real introspective performance. A real find is Colin Morgan, who brings a wiry, jittery energy to complement Meaney's understatement.
Review by Gavin Burke | 09:00 | Thursday 6th October 2011 | Movie Review
Darragh Byrne makes his feature debut with this poignant Irish drama, which is all-too-relevant for our troubled times. Colm Meaney plays a returning emigrant who lives in his car beside the seafront, befriending a troubled drug addict and a kindly woman over the course of the film. Casting Colm Meaney was a smart move - he's almost like the Irish John C. Reilly and you can see a whole life etched on his face. Also, if you watch this in a double feature with the Irish-language Kings (which also starred Meaney) you could make a connection between the two. Parked is one of those little Irish movies that deserves to be seen, but I suspect that it will be lost among the large amount of new releases next week. Catch it if you can.Posted 13:36 | Sat 8th Oct 2011
Jesus filmbuff must want Mike Sheridans job the way he is commenting!!!Posted 19:56 | Sat 22nd Oct 2011
While the movie certainly kept me watching and entertained, I felt there could have been more in terms of character development. Fred and his love interest were a little displaced and without context, but given the storyline perhaps that was the intention. The movie is also shot in a small number of locations: the car-park, the swimming-pool, the church which are revisited throughout, which also gave a feeling of confinement. But overall a good production, with solid acting by the two main protagonists. Thumbs up for newcomer Colin Morgan, who reminds me a little of a younger Cillian Murphy. Recommended.Posted 10:31 | Sun 23rd Oct 2011
I found parked very slow at the start but then before I knew it I had been hooked in and was bawling by the end of it. Colm Meaney is excellent in it, communicating so much in a look, the shame of homelessness and isolation from society and the continuing fight to cling on to self respect through indignity. There are lovely human touches such as Colm Meaney watering the cactii in his car. Colin Morgan was very good as the jittery drug addict. The strength of the film was the developing relationship between Meaney and Morgan. The gentle love interest plot was more a symbol of hope and new beginnings as Meaney's character didn't feel himself worthy of a chance of love until the end of the film. At the start of the film, the lack of action is jarring but by the end of the film you feel you have lived in that windy car park with the two protagonists. It is a very human and compassionate film that made me feel ashamed of homelessness in Ireland. The film is thought provoking and touching and is one that will resonate long after you have left the cinema.Posted 21:50 | Wed 26th Oct 2011
Interesting how 2 very different homeless people can live side by side with very different outcomes. Great acting by both Meaney & MorganPosted 01:09 | Sat 18th Feb 2012
This film was so much than I expected. I have been following Colin Morgan's career and this was truly outstanding for such a young actor! When it ended, I couldn't move. I didn't want to close my eyes for fear I would see more clearly, the depth of emotion on the faces of Colin and Colm...words weren't needed. A very powerful film.Posted 04:51 | Fri 16th Jan 2015
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