Meaney In Controversial 'Black Comedy' FilmBy T'Bonz
April 23, 2008 - 7:13 AM
Colm Meaney plays the part of a man who will be the way out of a dreary job for a Tube driver, but only if he falls beneath the driver's train.
As reported by the Times Online, Meaney's character Tommy is about to jump from a bridge renowned for its suicides, when he is stopped by Paul, a London Underground Tube driver. The driver, who has had two passengers fall under his train in quick succession, will gain instant retirement not to mention ten years salary based on compassionate grounds if only a third person will end his life in the same manner as the first two passengers. When he spots Tommy, he offers him fifteen hundred Pounds and a special weekend. Complications arise when the two become friends.
Reviews of Three and Out are mixed. "Much has been made of the ostensible tastelessness of this premise. And true, the first two deaths are played for laughs, Elvis Costello's 'Accidents Will Happen' tinkles on the soundtrack while the body falls beneath the train and we instantly cut to a close-up of ketchup splurging onto a plate. And yet the movie treats the central subject of Tommy's proposal with such solemnity (touching on tricky debates about euthanasia and assisted suicide) that it essentially erases the memory of its opening flippancy," said Kevin Maher of the Times Online.
Thisislondon.co.uk disagrees, saying "Three and Out's biggest crime? It's dreadful. The mystery is why some of Britain's finest character actors including Crook, Meaney, Antony Sher and Imelda Staunton, whose subtle performance as an abandoned wife seems to come from another film altogether, got caught up in this mess. Who let the script get this far? Arguably the producers are lucky they aroused any controversy at all. Otherwise this film would die on its feet."
The controversy referred to is the protest of actual train drivers, according to the BBC. Members of ASLEF, the train union, plan to hand out leaflets outside of the film's premiere. "We hope you enjoy the movie tonight," reads the leaflet, "but please remember that for train drivers like ourselves, deaths on the railway are never funny." Three and Out opens on the 25th.