Night Out in Killashandra [Lina Jalala, Ireland, 2018]
Night Out in Killashandra is a whip-smart take on the modern world of dating and the ways in which young people meet (or, in this case, don't meet) in the tech-savvy and social media obsessed Information Age.
The film invites us to join three young women on a night out (in Killashandra obvs!), huddled around a smartphone and ‘swiping’ their way through a dating app and weighing up their options. The camera swipes right to a group of three potential male suiters who are responding to the girls via the same app. Perhaps, this could be the fortuitous spark of a modern romance…
The dialogue is well written and the set-up is smart in the way it plays upon gender ‘norms’ and the typical courting situations that we are wont to see in any number of modern nightclubs and bars up and down the country. The sketch has a very modern feel and is acutely observant of the classic ‘girls-versus-guys’ dichotomy in such a scenario.
The idea of a social presence online via an app is the central ‘gag’ and the way the joke plays out here could be bypassed in reality, but comedies tend not to deal with reality as a fully logical commodity. In truth, both these groups could simply have put their phones down and spoken to each other (like in the good old days), but then the humour in the set-up would be lost, and the punchline that follows wouldn’t land as squarely as it does here. It helps enormously that the dialogue feels authentic and the performances feel that way too from both groups of actors; the premise of the “misunderstanding” punchline is delivered confidently and the comedic performances are well timed.
The manner in which the film is composed, shot and executed enables the audience to feel very included in the events that unfold. We are made to feel very much part of the two groups and atmosphere, not simply watching the events as they happen. The action is filmed closely in a tight space that helps secure the mood of the piece. It is important within this type of comedy that the audience understands and feels a real connection to the characters and writer/director Lina Jalala achieves this in abundance.
A Night Out in Killashandra demonstrates successfully that a funny and reflective take on 21st century life for “twenty-somethings” can function as a universally relatable exposé on dating. But the biggest question remains unanswered: how good are the burgers in Killashandra?
'Night Out in Killashandra' was a film submission in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2018