Starring: Aidan Gillen, Aisling Kearns, Liam Carney, David Herlihy, and Simone Collins
Director: Fintan Connolly
Barber feels like it would fit right alongside BBC’s Sherlock, delivering weekly investigations as a TV show. Coupled with an interestingly personal character storyline for the always fantastic Aidan Gillen, I wasn’t too mad at it. While it feels longer than its 90-minute runtime, focusing on a slow and simmering pace rather than the flash-bang intensity of other private investigator content, Gillen is able to chew up the pensive moments with his grizzled demeanor and gravelly tone. Barber isn’t anything new, but Gillen carries the titular private-eye role like he’s known this character intimately for more than a few decades.
Barber neatly fits into a style of film that I particularly enjoy. It is a thoughtful and (somewhat excessively) slow-developing whodunit that wields the tools of dialogue and subtlety with journeyman-like effectiveness. Aiden Gillen performs the role of complicated private investigator perfectly, and one can imagine a successful TV series spinoff. The editing is rarely clunky, but it still suffers slightly in execution as director Fintan Connolly rushes to fit a confusing myriad of characters into the film’s denouement. Incidentally, the timing of its filming highlights the more annoying aspects of the pandemic, which is never fun to relive.