Parked … Review by Doha

splash-of-starscathal in painColin’s sensitive portrayal of Jake has brought us back, yet again, to Cathal.  What follows is an outstanding review of that film, and an eloquent description of this gift Colin shares with us so valiantly.

4.0 out of 5 stars … There’s something about Colin Morgan, September 24, 2012.
By Doha . This review is from: Parked [Region 2] (DVD) . I (Doha) watched this film because of Colin Morgan.

Parked is difficult to sum up in a sentence or a paragraph, because like every good film, it isn’t about one thing or a few things. Threads run over and under each other, themes weave in and out. At the end, I find myself wondering what, really, it *was* about.

Fred Daly has recently returned to Ireland, having spent some years in England. Without a job, without a fixed address, his life is in his car. The day Cathal pulls into the same carpark, things in Fred’s life begin to roll and shift. Cathal has a good heart, and the young man and the older man form an unlikely friendship that will change them both. And yet – it isn’t unlikely at all. Both Cathal and Fred are at a point in their lives where they are lost and drifting; part of their effect on each other is that they give each other direction, a sense of anchorage and a place to moor at the end of the day. ‘Parked’ turns out to be a metaphor for both Fred and Cathal’s life, and the film is the story of changing, finding direction and the momentum to keep moving. The scene at the very close is a beautiful example of that circularity and momentum.

I recommend anyone watching or thinking of watching Parked to go on over to YouTube and watch some interviews with Colin Morgan (i.e. at the Mannheim Film Festival) talking about how he prepared for the role of Cathal – how in portraying him, “that drugs isn’t the main thing – it’s the person. I don’t say ‘I’m playing a drug addict’, because that’s not how anyone would describe themselves. When I went in and met those people, I did say, ‘hello my name’s Colin’, and they didn’t go, ‘hello, I’m a drug addict’.”

There’s something about Colin Morgan – he looks into the soul of his character, the story he is a part of, and gives you a piece of artistry that makes you think THIS. THIS is what acting is all about. He has an instinct for seeing what a person is made of, and the curiosity and knack for asking the right questions – and in addition to all that, the wisdom to know not every question has an easily-told answer. These are some of the things that make him different – I’d say that those qualities are what make him the actor that he is, rather than the reverse.

A lot of people, I’m sure, will watch or hear about this film because of Colin Morgan (best known for his role in the BBC’s Merlin); he is that rare person who can sell the idea that acting is art. He’s not a performer – he is an *artist*, and that is a very different thing. He brings a depth and nuance to his work that few young actors do, because he is looking inward, revealing and discovering layers within layers, wheels inside wheels. It’s not something done for people, for an audience – we just get to witness this extraordinary interaction between person and idea that creates a kind of third space, the acting that is really being. And that is our privilege.

As a final note, I don’t mean to dismiss the other actors in this film, by talking so much about Colin Morgan. Honestly speaking, I don’t know too much about them, while I have been following Morgan’s work. I keep saying it, but I think Colin Morgan is special even among his own kind. Watch him.


This review gave rise to a discussion between Suntse and Maldru, which resulted in a year-long correspondence, a wonderfully meaningful correspondence, between them.

(Your initial post: Jan 8, 2013 6:06:26 PM PST)
Suntse: I completely loved this review. It’s true, “there’s something about Colin Morgan” … What is it about this young actor? Why am I so drawn to him and his portrayals? So much of it is silent … a hesitation … a swallow … the lowering of the eyes, the quick and easy smile, the tear stained face. Emotion unspoken, conveyed to us with gentle power. It is gratifying to read a review that captures these same feelings … many thanks, Doha, for saying it so well.

“He’s not a performer – he is an*artist*, and that is a very different thing.” … “the acting that is really `being'”  He embodies the character and brings it alive. He really defies description. His face reflects nuances of emotion that cannot be explained. He comes into your heart and stays there. He is unforgettable.

maldru:  I’ve been thinking that Colin, like all truly talented actors, is “living” his character, he’s able to become Cathal/Merlin/Colum; and the tragedy they, respectively, represent cannot fail to break our hearts. Mine for sure! I don’t even see it as artistry anymore, I live it too, and continue living it for a long time after watching, cannot stop the tears…   But what to do with the heartbreak? How to get out of it? To heal?  That is the question! At least, it makes it easier to know that I’m not alone in this…

Suntse:  …..Please read this response in the tone of a gentle reply to an earnest question. … We do not get out of the heartbreak. I don’t think we are meant to get out of it. That compassion we feel is important to us as caring human souls. Perhaps that is why we revisit it even though it still strikes at our hearts. Colin brings us there … I think that is part of who he is also … perhaps that is why he has always wanted to be an actor … a storyteller in the ancient sense.

In reply to your post on May 22, 2013 1:40:37 PM PDT

Doha:  Oh, friends, I’m so glad you’re making friends over my review! I made a really wonderful friend over a different review, and I’m not kidding when I say I’ve written over a hundred emails all about Colin Morgan. ‘We do not get out of the heartbreak’ = truth.

Suntse: Doha: I am so glad you are noticing our comments on your wonderful review. And, yes, Maldru and I are finding much common ground in our appreciation of Parked, Island, Merlin, and especially, of Colin Morgan. I believe heartbreak, as well as joy, the emotional connections we have to each other, are an essential element of our humanity. Colin brings us to it, and we are grateful for it.

2 comments on “Parked … Review by Doha

  1. leahluna55 says:

    This is lovely my dear Suntse! Love the review and all the comments, too.
    Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The descriptions here are so insightful. It impressed me greatly that there was no mention of his physical beauty … for that is not what Colin is about. I believe Colin, himself, would appreciate these observations about his skill and talent.

    If one returns to his early stage reviews … the observations of his brilliance and ability to hold center stage “for one so young” … there is never comment about cheekbones, blue eyes, or black hair. Doha saw past the physical and gave an attentive eye to the “real” Colin … the one who uses his ability to find the soul of his character and bring it to life.


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