Published on October 24th, 2011 | by Kitty Catastrophe2
When an elderly Tipperary farmer dies, his lonely and socially awkward son Donal (Domhnall Gleeson) is left with the farm and a new-found freedom, only he’s not quite sure what to do with either. Frustrated with his fumbling attempts to approach or strike up any kind of coherent conversation with local girls, he turns to the world of online escorts and arranges an appointment with Kim (Luanne Gordon), a call girl from New Zealand. A few saucy shenanigans and unexpected bonding (I said BONDING) events later, the pair decide to go into business together. Kim is keen to get out of escort work and into the management side of things and Donal’s money can easily take care of the start-up costs. Apart from the fact that running a brothel is completely illegal, it turns out that Tipperary isn’t quite ready for their new venture and maybe Donal wasn’t either.
Despite the subject matter, Sensation is most definitely not a sex comedy. It’s a darkly funny drama firmly rooted in the realities of rural Ireland and the seedy industry of prostitution (the clients are no Richard Gere, that’s for damn sure). The humour is as black as Kim’s stockings, with Gleeson and Gordon’s characters shining through their complex story as intelligent but insecure people. It’s a very well written film, capturing the repressed and uneasy Irish perspective on sex, with Luanne Gordon’s character successfully avoiding the trap of the hooker with a heart of gold cliché. Domhnall Gleeson is immensely likeable as the shy Donal who goes from unhappy loner to unlikely pimp and even though both leads can be somewhat unsympathetic at times, I still found myself completely on their side and hoping they’d manage to pull the whole thing off.
Sensation is a great Irish film, a well-acted, well-written and for all it’s darkness, at times surprisingly sweet comedy drama.
Sensation will be in cinemas on 4th of November. For more information, check out the official website.