What Richard Did is a remarkable feat in contemporary cinema: an independent film that is both complex and subtle, that hints at greater forces and that speaks volumes within its quiet, mannered tone.
Our eponymous hero is an unlikely lead. An alpha male. A handsome, blue-eyed boy who is also a good-natured overachiever and his school’s rugby star. Films like this are seldom made about men like this. Richard’s story becomes increasingly tense when he falls for Lara, the girlfriend of his rugby teammate Conor. If most films of this kind are about the struggles of growing up and how people cope with their coming-of-age, What Richard Did has more in common with European auteurist cinema: this is an examination of psyche and is about the limits of control. By the time we see what it is that Richard actually did, we’re certain that the film’s denouement can only be breathtakingly abrupt.
It’s difficult to explain this film without comparing it to others of its kind, without placing it in a context. What Richard Did defies the context that it lays for itself and is truly a gem, unlike any film you’ve seen in recent months. The film is poetic, thoughtful and its restlessness remainders long in the memory. A bigger name director with a bigger name star would have this plastered in multiplexes throughout the country. See it while you’re still in-the-know.
What Richard Did is on release.