On The Edge DVD


Sometimes looking inside is the only way out. After a near-fatal car accident in a stolen car 19 year-old Jonathan Breech (Cillian Murphy) is given two choices: prison or a psychiatric hospital. He begrudgingly accepts the latter although he makes it clear to his psychiatrist (Rea) that he doesn't believe in therapy. Jonathan then begins the long journey of understanding himself through other patients. His friend Toby (Jackson) a sensitive tormented young man who blames hims

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17 June 2002
4 Front Video 
82 minutes 
PAL, Widescreen 
  • Average Rating for On The Edge [2001] - 3 out of 5

    (based on 1 user reviews)
  • On The Edge [2001]
    Grant Morrison

    Although not the best of John Carney's work, On the Edge is a film that you should allow your eyes to see for ninety or so minutes. It has a few problems here and there but if you look past those with a little grit of the teeth then On the Edge is a very enjoyable watch.

    Starring Cillian Murphy as the troubled Jonathan Breech, On the Edge looks to pack a lot into its opening act. The drug use, theft, joyriding and a near death experience boxes have all been ticked, but surprisingly this isn't too overwhelming. Not too much plot given away here I am sure you will agree, but the plot isn't really this films main selling point in my eyes. What is its selling point is the strong performance from Cillian Murphy.

    I have seen Murphy in a number of roles now and he has impressed me greatly, from his role in 28 Days Later to his brief flashes as the Scarecrow in the Nolan Batman reboots. Murphy is a performer that has my invested interest, and as On the Edge lies just at the beginning of his blossoming career it interesting to see his development.

    For the most part this quality is reflected through the whole supporting cast. Jonathan Jackson an American by birth puts on a very convincing Belfast accent in his role as Toby and should rightfully be applauded for it. However a problem lies in this supporting cast area with the character of Rachel. Tricia Vessey is the actress that takes the helm of this love interest role and she produces a very uneven performance. Now I am not 100% sure if this down purely to the acting ability of Vessey or if it is down to a flimsy script. Watching the film you are supposed to be intrigued by this enigmatic figure. As the film progresses the enigma unravels to reveal a frail and damaged individual; an individual as a result that should ultimately be liked. Bringing the second however into the review the character doesn't quite unfold like that. There are brief moments where you do indeed go along with this idea of Rachel as the likeable and sympathetic beauty. But this is clattered against moments of annoyance and periods of time filled with aversion for the Rachel character. But John Carney covers this blip with a fantastic soundtrack, although it is a little ham fisted at times - "Is She Weird?" by The Pixies for example. Three guesses as to the meaning behind the combination between song and scene.

    The end just like the beginning of the film attempts to cram a lot in and comes of slightly disjointed. It is to an extent ambiguous which I often enjoy with film conclusions, but with On the Edge the ending just comes across as slightly lacking. Like a sail boat with no wind. But for the gift of Once I shall forgive you Mr Carney for these nagging inconveniences.

    For a little under three gold coins and a couple of magic beans you can pick yourself up a copy of On the Edge. As I said right at the beginning of this ambling babble of a review, On the Edge is not John Carney's best work. Once has that sewn up for the moment, but it is nice taster for the talent John Carney possesses. On the Edge is the passable prawn cocktail, Once is the hearty beef stew (or favourable salad for our vegetarians friends) and as of yet Carney is still to make his sticky toffee pudding.

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Arrested after a joyriding incident, 19-year-old Jonathan Beech (Cillian Murphy) is sent to a psychiatric clinic and placed under the care of Dr Figure (Stephen Rea). The young man doesn't believe in therapy, and makes this abundantly clear to Figure, but he does enjoy meeting some of the other patients. He soon becomes friends with Toby (Jonathan Jackson) and Rachel (Tricia Vessey), and as they grow to trust each other, Jonathan finds that his interactions with his fellow patients have begun to teach him a great deal about himself.

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