Review: SIFF film “Bad Day For The Cut” presents unconventional take on revenge

By Gavin Norley, Hawkeye staff

“Bad Day For The Cut” is an Irish thriller/comedy directed by Irish filmmaker Chris Baugh that was shown at the Seattle International Film Festival. The film’s premise consists of farmer Donal who lives with his mother in Ireland. One fateful night, she is murdered and Donal happens to see a man walking out of the house and driving off. Two men then come by the next night and try to kill him. Donal kills one of them and uses the other one, a Polish man named Bartosz to get information. Bartosz is only there because the people who employed him have his sister hostage and if he doesn’t kill Donal, they will kill his sister. Donal then agrees to help Bartosz find his sister if he tells Donal who killed his mother. The next hour or so of the film is a rollercoaster of humor, action and emotions. This film is a beautifully shot look at the idea of revenge and how desperate some people are for revenge. “Bad Day For The Cut” has made me reflect on lots of life choices in a way no movie has before.

As the film goes on, we begin to understand why Donal’s mom was murdered and we eventually find out that she killed the father of her murderer. Donal kills a lot of people before he comes face to face with Frankie Pierce, the woman who killed his mother, and he takes her to a beach and digs a grave for her. Donal plans on shooting her and dumping her into the grave but Frankie tells Donal about his mother and what she did. She then says that if he kills her, he leaves a little girl with no mother. Donal then decides not to kill her. Frankie however uses this change of heart as a chance to try and kill Donal. Donal then shoots Frankie through the chest with a shotgun.

This film is a beautifully shot look at the idea of revenge and how desperate some people are for revenge.”

— Gavin Norley

Bartosz is held captive by the man Donal saw walking out of the house his night was mother was killed. The man calls Donal using Bartosz’s phone and shoots Bartosz on the phone and tells Donal if he wants him, he has to come get him. Donal then sits in the middle of the beach crying with the shotgun next to him as the screen fades to black.

This film is a work of art. I have never seen a film handle the idea of revenge so well. Instead of giving the viewer a hero who is an unstoppable killing machine with no emotion, you are given a fat, middle aged farmer who just wants to try and avenge his mother’s death. This gives the audience someone relatable and the film does small actions to make Donal a more human character like having him get winded and wounded in fights.

The final shot of the film is really one of the most powerful shots I have ever seen a movie. It made me ponder on life and the concept of revenge itself. Donal killed his mother’s murderer, but she was a mother too and now her daughter is going through the same pain he was going through. And on top of that, his only friend after the death of his mother, Bartosz, has been killed because of what he has done. Donal sitting on the beach crying instead of going straight to the guy who killed Bartosz like a lot of action movie heroes would do, makes him very human and makes the entire audience think about the true purpose of revenge and if getting revenge is really necessary.

To quote my favorite movie of all time, “OldBoy”: “Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again.”

“Bad Day For The Cut” is a movie that questions human needs and is one of the greatest films I have ever seen. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys thinking about the human life and the concepts it has created.

I am very comfortable with giving “Bad Day For The Cut” a 10/10.