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An Everlasting Piece "An Everlasting Piece" on DVD

Sectarians Commit Hair-esy

Barry Levinson directed this warm-hearted comedic look at the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

Its "piece de resistance" is that it was written by and stars the relatively unknown Barry McEvoy, whose inspiration came from his father (formerly a barber in Northern Ireland before emigrating to the US).

An Everlasting Piece tells the hair raising tale of two Northern Ireland barbers who embark on a quest to sell more hairpieces than their competition, thereby netting themselves a manufacturer's monopoly in the British territory.

Colm (McEvoy) is Catholic while his friend and partner George (Brian F. O'Byrne), not surprisingly, is a Protestant. While the twain are never supposed to meet, the two realize that their religious beliefs have little to do with their real life realities and get to work trying to build their toupee business one strand at a time.

The sectarian violence does rear its ugly head, of course, as during the course of the film both partners are forced to confront their own religious beliefs as well as their business ethics and just plain honest dealing. Should they sell to the Irish Republican Army? How about the Brits? And if they do sell, are they selling out - or ripping them off?

This isn't a Yuk a minute laugh fest, but neither is it a political movie aiming to lecture you constantly by beating you over the head. Rather, it's more of a gentle and humorous look at life more in the tradition of British films like "Billy Elliott" or "Waking Ned Devine."

In the end, while the situation in Northern Ireland (the film is set during the 1980's) is never far from mind, the movie isn't so much about the political situation than it uses that situation more as a setting, background, and sometime justification for the characters' motivations and actions.

The performances are all very good, though the only actor of whom you've probably heard is Billy Connolly, who has an important but relatively small part as a looney former hairpiece dealer who turned to scalping rather than "cranial carpeting." Mention should be made of Anna Friel, as Colm's girlfriend, who's the real brains behind the operation.

The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen video, 16x9 TV compatible, with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround audio and the picture and sound are both excellent. There isn't a whole bunch of surround info, but that's okay.

Extras, surprisingly enough for a Dreamworks DVD, are limited. You get some production notes, and a liner essay that's basically the same, aw well as cast and filmmaker info and the trailer.

An Everlasting Piece, from Dreamworks Home Video
103 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 Surround
Starring Barry McEvoy, Brian F. O'Byrne, Anna Friel and Billy Connolly
Produced by Barry Levinson and Paula Weinstein
Written by Barry McEvoy, Directed by Barry Levinson.


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Updated May 13, 2006