The Snapper Wha
What is it about Roddy Doyles' movie 'The Snapper'? What is it about the movie that when it is on TV our social media streams are full of quotes each trying to be as funny as the previous. Last night before the movie was shown we had a twitter discussion (@dubcityphotos) about your memories of Dublin in and around '92/'93. Most of our childhood memories were centred around Italia 90 and Packie Bonner. Others commented on the smoking in pubs in the movie that nowadays seems beyond crazy. It was the norm then. The pubs were the beating heart of Dublin where wit and stories were traded. Just after The Snapper was released Ireland was heading for changes that we as a small, fairly new nation couldn't have imagined. The seeds of the so called 'boom' were planted and we were all on the money train. Or so it seemed. Looking back at certain scenes in the movie, there aren't too many mobile phones, and the kids on the estate all seem to be playing football on the road and when those street lights came on it was time to go home. Life seemed simpler, and Dessie Curley deals with the pregnancy of his un married daughter in the way that any father of the New Ireland of the 90s would; with mostly compassion, care and above all love and welcomes The Snapper into the home. Dessie has the wit of a true Dub. In the scene where he is rushing in to the Rotunda with Sharon in the passenger seat he nearly knocks down a pedestrian and shouts 'get out of the way ya dozy bo**ix'. No other nation on the planet would find that funny. But we do. In the scene following The Snappers birth Dessie makes a call on a landline in the reception of the hospital to confirm the birth and that all is ok with Sharon. And then there is a queue of mothers waiting to use the landline. Even something as simple as that evokes memories of a different Ireland. Roddy Doyle picked a perfect snapshot of us Dubs in the movie and when Dessie is in the now closed Conways pub across from The Rotunda and he looks at a pint like its a 25 year old model, mutters to the punters in the bar '7 pounds 12 ounces'. To which, in classic Dublin wit retorts 'is that a turkey or a baby'? Dublin wit captured perfectly in 2 lines.
'Yeah yeah... 7 pounds.... 12 ounces....'
Of the Barrytown trilogy The Snapper comes in the middle. The prequel 'The Commitments' showed Dublin as an even more rundown city where drugs and unemployment were huge social issues. The sequel to The Snapper was The Van. In which Dessie has been made redundant and picks up an old chipper van during the 1990 World Cup when the Irelands' spirit was lifted forever out of the doldrums thanks to David O' Leary and that penalty and as a 'nation held its breath'. The 3 movies are an absolute joy to watch, not only for the story and humour but for the social snapshot of us 25 odd years ago. If I was you I would read the books too. You will skip through them, laugh to yourself and will enjoy them immensely.
By the way, can anyone remember the name of the dog?!!