Film Review: Parked

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Classify this one under “Holiday movies that make you grateful just not to be the characters in the movie.” Parked, which stars Colin Morgan and which has been out in Europe for over a year now, is finally making its way to the United States where it opens this Friday. At its heart, it is the story of two men who have nothing in common apart from their gender but who form an unfathomable and unlikely bond that saves both in the end from themselves and from each other. They become best friends and enablers, taking heart in the flaws of the other and accepting the other wholly for who he is. This is, quite simply, a love story.

The tale begins when a wayward Irishman named Fred (Colm Meaney) returns home after years abroad to find the life he knew has long since disappeared. He can’t afford an apartment and must resort to living in his car. Needless to say, he never planned on being homeless.

And yet it turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to him: in the same lot where he lives in his car is stationed a doped-up junkie named Cathal (Colin Morgan) who is a hollowed out gray carcass of a human being. He does dubious things for dope and for money (to buy dope), but Fred cannot bring himself to judge Cathal. There is, somehow, something pure in his addict persona. The two thus become friends and saviors, ultimately bringing light to what it means to live in isolation and in homelessness in the modern world.

The movie has a quiet, almost still quality to it that makes it feel more like a collected set of observations than a fully plotted narrative. This works intermittently and packs a punch at just the right moment at the film’s climax. It may be more formulaic when it comes to actual turns in the plot than one may like, but the winning performances from Meaney and Morgan turn this story of outcasted losers into a soothing tale of brotherly love and friendship.