Titanic Town (1998) Julie Walters, Ciarán Hinds, Nuala O'Neill, James Loughran, Barry Loughran Movie Review

Titanic Town (1998)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ciarán Hinds and Julie Walters in Titanic Town (1998)

The Standing Housewife

Having moved in to a lovely new home in Belfast, Bernie McPhellmy (Julie Walters) is determined that her family enjoy life despite living surrounded by the troubles from people being shot to the army invading the community looking for terrorists. But when a friend of hers is shot whilst on the street Bernie decides enough is enough and sets about taking a stand against the troubles. Not only does it lead to some media interest in her but also troubles as some of the local sympathisers take exception to her stand. It also makes life difficult for her daughter who finds herself being bullied at school.

"Titanic Town" is another movie which attempts to dramatize the troubles in Northern Ireland during the 70s and 80s. As such we get shown various familiar aspects from shootings on the street in broad daylight to the armed forces swooping in on a community looking to remove members of the IRA. And there is plenty more which frankly is typical but the emphasis of all this is not on the gritty realism of the era but on delivering an entertaining dramatization.

And the reason I say the focus is on being an entertaining dramatization is that it is a character driven movie with Julie Walters' Bernie McPhellmy being the focus. But it isn't a great performance from Walters as the character is too much of a stereotypical house wife and all the characters around her are equally too stereotypical to the point of bordering on the comical. It ends up with the characters dominating the movie more than the story which is the treatment the McPhellmy family suffers when Bernie makes a public stand from other women having a go at her to her daughter's life at school being made a living hell.

What this all boils down to is that if you plan to watch "Titanic Town" because you are interested in the troubles in Ireland you may well end up disappointed. But if you are looking for something more along the lines of an entertaining, character driven drama then it might just work.