Six Shooter

Black and bloody comedy: a man whose wife has died that morning, encounters a strange, possibly psychotic, young man on a train.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 26:19

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5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Kenton Allen, Mia Bays

Director/s : Martin McDonagh, 

Writer/s : Martin McDonagh, 

Actor/s : Brendan Gleeson, Rauidhri Conroy


McDonagh hits the ground shooting

McDonagh’s trademark storyline is male-centric black comedy turning violent, and in that sense it’s a metaphor for the world in which history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

Six Shooter was his first short, and his first collaboration with Brendan Gleeson, who would go on to provide the sensible touchstone of In Bruges, the foil to Colin Farrell’s childish psychopath. This film has Rauidhri Conroy as essentially the same character as Farrell’s.

Death pervades the story. Gleeson’s wife has just died in hospital, he’s on his way home by train. The doctor apologises for being distracted, because they’ve just treated a murder victim. And on the train are a couple who have just lost their child in a cot death.

And Conroy, the “kid”, is a livewire, tactless to the point of psychopathic, telling the woman how ugly her baby was. The script is a grim delight, not least a scene with the put-upon refreshments trolley guy, played by Brendan’s son Domnhall “Star Wars” Gleeson. But it’s Conroy who brilliantly steals every scene he’s in, even from Gleeson (and Gleeson is big enough to let him).

McDonagh allows a beam of hope to light his downbeat endings, another trademark of his. It’s all there in his first short, and it only went and won the Oscar.