- Director: Peter Mackie Burns
- Writer: Mark O'Halloran
- Producer: Alan Maher; Lizzie Francke; Tristan Goligher; Valentina Brazzini
A no-frills [or thrills], premature mid-life crisis...played out with neither respite nor humour...nor, [a much-needed] backstory. Other than a hint of that old cliché...distant, domineering father and a repressed, overly protective mother...resulting in...you can guess the rest.
Colm is 46, in a sexless marriage [perhaps, not loveless], with a daughter, an absolutely horrible 19 year old son, a recently deceased [and despised] father, a needy mother, looming [obligatory] redundancy, a few suicidal tendencies and a drink problem. Happy days! Wait...there's more, he's also [strangely] besotted with a gay4pay [yawn] 19 year old rentboy. Their [sexual] encounters and his infatuation form the crux of the story. It really is a case of...what you see is what you get. There is no [much-needed] scratching below the surface. Is this [just] his mad half hour? Or, has he done this before? Or, will he do it again? Or, will he simply regress back into his sexless marriage?
Story-telling is reliant on why things happen, why people do the things they do...Rialto doesn't explain the whys! And when Colm says the [horrendous] things he says to his [horrible] son...well, there's no coming back from that intractable and unretractable place! And that is exactly where the film should have started...everything before, the run-up, could have taken 15 minutes to tell...followed by this knockout punch and the subsequent fallout and the decimation of a family. It wouldn't be pretty...but, there's nothing pretty about this Rialto...it's just too damn pragmatic...rather than being an emotional rollercoaster. Think about it...Colm cheats on his wife with a prostitute [aka survival sex worker]...a boy the same age as his son! This is an emotional minefield littered with IEDs. Yet, the only explosion comes from him! Question: Could you feel any compassion for a man like this? Let's face it...Colm is a working class man in absolute turmoil...he is neither a disgraced politician nor a much-loved celebrity! Was that a bit below-the-belt? The similarities are too striking not to be mentioned!
Peter Mackie Burns has delivered Mark O'Halloran's [rather unadventurous] script as given...adequately, without any bells or whistles. Perhaps, a few bells and whistles would have been welcomed additions...because, this - indeed - is dour, dour stuff.
Colm is in his mid-forties, married, with two teenage children. Still grieving the death of his father, a destructive figure in his life, Colm struggles with his relationship to his own son, whilst at work a recent takeover threatens his job. Unable to share his vulnerability with his wife, Colm*s world is falling apart around him. In the midst of this crisis, Colm solicits sex from a young man called Jay. This encounter and his growing infatuation has a deep effect on Colm. He finds a comfort in Jay that no one else can provide.