Irish film “Kisses” is taking America by storm but the strong Dublin accents mean the film is being subtitled.
Not since “The Commitments” has an Irish film caused such comprehension difficulties in the United States but the hit indie film has already won awards at the Toronto, Miami and Galway Film festivals.
Though the film was first released in 2008 in Ireland it got its first public airing in America last weekend.
The film tells the story of two Dublin teens growing up in poverty in Dublin inner-city. The pair run away together as their troubled home lives drive them out.
Difficulties arose for the Irish filmmakers when they realized that those outside Ireland might not be able to understand the cast’s strong Dublin accents. Macdara Keller, the film’s producer announced that the film would be “partially subtitled” in order to make it accessible to an international audience.
“The kids starring in the film had never acted in anything before, so they didn't really use the diction that actors doing a thick accent would be used to,” he told the Evening Herald.
“It was a constructive decision to have the film partially subtitled in the U.S. I think it does slightly change the perception of the film, people will now think it's more of an art film.
“Directors often choose to partially subtitle their films, particularly when tough accents are used, in order to make it more accessible for viewers. For example, “Trainspotting” came with a glossary of terms.”
Kelleher admits that when the film was launched in 2008 they never imagined that it would have such international success. However, as soon as it aired in Toronto they knew that they were in for an exciting ride.
“When the film screened in Toronto in 2008, there was a real buzz about the place. It was then, I think, that we knew we had something special,” he said.
“Myself and director Lance Daly just wanted to make a film that would get people interested. Nothing really big or extravagant and we wanted to avoid a typical genre, like gangster -- just a simple, honest film.
“I love it personally. I've seen it a lot of times and it has certainly made me cry a few times. Although I'm biased, I just think it's beautiful and hope viewers engage with it as well.”
The film follows Kylie and Dylan, two young next-door neighbors who decide one night that they’re going to run away. The film follows them through the magical nighttime lights of Dublin City Center. They are on a journey in search of a better life and Dylan’s brother who ran away two years previously.
As the night wears on Dublin becomes a more sinister place and the children need to rely on the kindness of strangers, the advice of Bob Dylan and each other to survive.
Critics in the United States are already calling the film “short, sweet and full of unexpected moments" and a “rewarding tale of two kids loose on Dublin's mean streets with outstanding performances.”