"Maze," a film depicting the Maze prison escape in which 38 IRA prisoners broke out of the infamous facility, has made it to Netflix. The breakout happened on this day, September 25, in 1983.
The film "Maze", starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, has received widespread praise from its audiences and critics since its initial debut in cinemas in September of last year. Now it's made it on to the movie streaming service Netflix.
In real life, 38 prisoners led by the Gerry Kelly, ironically later a Sinn Féin Stormont minister in the government, captured one of the prison blocks, hijacked a garbage truck inside the prison and broke through the gates. It was called the greatest escape in British history.
The main character and leader of the breakout in the movie is Larry Marley, who is played by actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, best known for his roles as Nidge in the Television series, Love/Hate.
The antagonist of the film is Gordon Close, who is played by Barry Ward and is the largely intimidating warden of the prison and central obstacle for Marley’s plans.
One of the primary dynamics of the film is the fact that both Marley and Ward come from polar opposite sides of Northern Irish society, respectively belonging to the nationalist and unionist communities.
Marley views this intense opposition between himself and Close as a chance to manipulate him so as to bring himself closer to escaping the prison.
However, whilst the two appear to be inherently opposed to one another at first, they find ultimately find themselves cultivating a highly improbable relationship that brings about trouble for each of them.
In an interview with The Irish Post in London in January, Vaughan-Lawlor expressed that the film was successful in providing commentary on both sides of "The Troubles" and presented both communities in a very clear light.
The film itself was shot at the currently inactive Cork City prison, as opposed to Maze, yet Vaughan-Lawlor described the space by stating, “it has history in its walls and it has an energy that you can’t really buy.”
Vaughan-Lawlor also highlighted the importance of the escape as being a direct consequence of the 1981 hunger strikes, as he found out during the research process for the film.
“I hope the film gives people a sense of how tough it must have been. It must have been hell,” Vaughan-Lawlor noted.