Gingerbread Men is the first feature-length film by Dáire McNab and his Second Wave Films production company. The film stars Elliot Moriarty and Kenneth Conway as Charlie and Ken, two affable Trinity students. It is narrated by Aussie funny man Damian Clark.
Charlie is a self-involved lothario. He is in possession of a London accent and enough brawn to make all women get weak at the knees. Ken is a gentle alcoholic from Mayo. He is shunned by women due to a disfigurement which he suffered in a house fire. Therein lies the only major flaw in this strong effort at a feature-length piece.
The female characters are entirely one-dimensional in a manner that borders on offensive. For Charlie, they are play things to manipulate and discard. For Ken, they are superficial strumpets who cannot see beyond his scars. The portrayal of a woman described as ‘Miss Piggy’ tilts the film dangerously close to full-blown misogyny. This is a real pity because aside from that aspect of the movie it was quite enjoyable. The two primary actors both put in strong performances that hold the viewer’s attention throughout the piece.
Several sequences of the film are visually impressive. The cinematography tends to hit its stride during the more experimental segments of the film such as when they duo are in a nightclub. The soundtrack showcases a stunning array of Irish musical talent. Bands such as Sounds of System Breakdown and Republic of Loose are featured. Overall, it is an interesting portrayal of contemporary student life.