Reviews

Ae Fond Kiss

3

Taking its title from a Robert Burns poem, the third part of Ken Loach's loose Glasgow trilogy doesn't boast a performance to match Peter Mullan's in My Name Is Joe or Martin Compston's in Sweet Sixteen. Yes, Eva Birthistle impresses as a lapsed Catholic teacher who embarks on an interracial romance. But her co-star, model-turned-actor Atta Yaqub, lacks the confidence to equal his undeniable screen presence.

To be fair to Yaqub, his character is a little limp: drifting into the affair despite his impending arranged marriage, then wringing his hands and exclaiming, "I should have foreseen the hurt." Paul Laverty's script is far stronger on the cultural ties that bind, while the religious/secular divide is particularly well-drawn in the scene where Birthistle visits her parish priest, a chain-smoking straight-talker indelibly portrayed by Gerard Kelly.

The central drama is engaging enough, but only this scene has the impact of a traditional Glasgow kiss.

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