In Irish-British comedy-drama, Joyride, ‘Mully’ is a 13-year-old boy, living in County Kerry, Ireland. He’s a bright, outgoing teenager, with a great deal of confidence, but recently he has suffered a bereavement, having lost his mother to cancer.
Keen to do something positive, Mully takes part in a fundraising event at the local pub, to raise some money for charity. He takes to the stage to sing some songs, and thanks to his help and hard work the event is a success, and brings in a significant sum of cash.
However, Mully’s father has his eye on the money, and quickly pockets it for himself, telling his son that the family should benefit from the fundraiser. Mully disagrees with his father, believing he is simply using this as an excuse to con people out of cash to pay his debts, so promptly takes the money back and makes a run for it.
His father gives chase, leaving Mully to think on his feet. He spots a driver-less taxi parked in a nearby street, jumps into the driver’s seat, and uses the car to make his getaway.
But unbeknown to Mully, the taxi has two passengers inside: Middle-aged solicitor, Joy, and her newborn baby. And what’s more, Joy has problems of her own, largely connected to her baby, and is keen to escape the local area.
What follows are two journeys: One literal and one metaphorical, as Mully and Joy embark on an unexpected road trip together, with some highs and a few lows. But will they deal with their own problems separately, or will they need the help of each other to truly move forward with their lives?
Directed by Emer Reynolds, Joyride stars Olivia Colman and Charlie Reid. The movie was released theatrically back in July, but is now available to rent on digital video-on-demand platforms.
Joyride is a touching, sweet, and brilliantly acted coming-of-age tale, which places its focus on human relationships. It is a small-scale picture, largely focused on the interactions between Mully and Joy, but one which covers a range of themes and emotions.
Olivia Colman adopts an Irish accent to take on the role of Joy for this film, and as you might expect from Colman, is absolutely superb in the movie. She plays a character who is hard-faced and determined, and who is mentally damaged from hardships in her life, but who possibly has a heart of gold – even if she doesn’t know it.
Opposite Colman is Charlie Reid as Mully, who is equally as superb. The young actor plays a vulnerable, yet brave teenager, who has been forced to grow up quickly, because of the hand that fate has dealt him, and Reid tackles all of this in his stride.
Together the Colman/Reid pairing is a great piece of casting, which feels authentic. These two are the heart and soul of the movie, and I can’t overstate just how good they are together.
The actors, and their characters, share a wonderful connection, which not only helps to tell this story, but also enhances and enriches it. Joyride benefits from this onscreen partnership, although I believe the film has plenty going for it in other departments too.
From the screenplay, which is beautifully written by Ailbhe Keogan, to the cinematography by James Mather, and the music by Ray Harman, Joyride has been put together with lots of care, and a great deal of attention. Director Emer Reynolds knows exactly how to steer this film to success and the results are on screen for all to see.
Joyride is one of those movies which is enjoyable from the first scene through to the end credits. It is the sort of film that will have you laughing one minute, in tears the next, and deep in thought and contemplation thereafter.
At all times you’ll be fully engaged, completely moved, and totally invested in the picture. This film is an absolute triumph, make no mistake.
Joyride didn’t get a great deal of publicity when it opened in cinemas this summer, and with the extreme heat experienced during July and August, I don’t imagine it was on many peoples’ radars. But with it now being readily available for home viewing, be sure not to overlook it.
Joyride is splendid and deserves to be watched and appreciated for the gem it is. I loved every moment of it.