The Consultant (2013) – By Kirsten Walsh

When one thinks of Ireland, they tend to think of the rich green of the Emerald Isle, the flowing red hair of the Riverdancing natives, and the thick overflowing glass of the Guiness that awaits them. Andy Hynes’ The Consultant gives the viewer an inside, deeper look into the darkness that can befall man working in today’s world, no matter the location. Tim Casey takes on the role of Tom the consultant, servicing various and sundry unimportant companies that the audience learns could affect the future of Ireland through its recovery from political issues. Casey’s aloof character sits in a professional room, with a professional suit, and leads an unassuming professional life. With a play on silence- which counteracts with the dialogue beautifully, we follow Tom through his evening with a lady of the night, where his relationship mirrors the one he demonstrates at work- professional, calm, and veiled. It becomes clear to the observer that something has to change with Casey’s character- he has to have a metamorphosis. Soon, we feel wrapped in his trappings, and feel absorbed in watching, hoping for his moment of reckoning. The audience is rewarded with a slow paced movement of Tom, moving through his house, packing his belongings and wrapping his life with the cocoon of change. His change is gradual as he drives away from his past life, and destroys his cellphone in an impulsive move, and finds himself at the beautiful and scenic Irish ocean-side, which is a vast difference from his bland home and boring workspace. Of course, he is left with the age old decision while at the seaside- return to his life of substance and stability, or venture out. The audience is left to interpret the sequence as they will, questioning if Tom will return to his complacent existence, and the end is unexpected to say the least.

Hynes’ visual passage was well thought out- from the production design to the actors themselves. The film edges on a lilting rocker that balances the boundary of a classic story, one by Poe or Plath. The flawed makeup on one of the consultant’s clients fits in with the story, as well as the cherry carpet topped by cherry finished furniture. The dialogue is incendiary, as it plays no direct role to the audience’s journey with Tom. The music is gentle and calm, as is the characters. Without any immediate action until the end of the film, it is easy to be entranced into the world of a trapped man seeking his ventilation. The sound, even while at the seaside, is meticulous, obviously being done through ADR, which is much appreciated and done very well.

All in all, this is an excellent example of a blossoming independent film scene in Ireland, and it is to be expected for great things to come, from both that scene, and from Director/ Writer Andy Hynes.