Follow TV Tropes


Film / Dublin Oldschool

Go To
"Can't stop the session!"

Dublin Oldschool is a 2018 Irish film, directed by Dave Tynan and starring Emmet Kirwan. It was co-written by both of them.

We meet a Dublin twentysomething called Jason, who is a habitual drug user and is ready to kick off a Bank Holiday weekend with a bang. What's not so fun is that he dreams of being a DJ, but never gets the chance, and is instead reduced to organising raves for other DJs to perform. His weekend doesn't get much better when he comes across his estranged half-brother Daniel (Ian Lloyd Anderson) now homeless on the streets of Dublin.

Dublin Oldschool began life as a two-man stage play that opened to rave reviews in 2014 - and later toured London. The film adaptation followed suit with both Emmet Kirwan and Ian Lloyd Anderson reprising their roles. Dave Tynan, the film's director, has collaborated with Emmet Kirwan multiple times - notably in the viral video Just Saying.


Can't stop the tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The film has far more focus on the brother plotline than the play.
  • Amicable Exes: Downplayed with Jason and Gemma. The tension between them is because of a hook-up they had the week previously that the latter doesn't want her boyfriend to find out about.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Jason gives a belated one to Gemma, who doesn't fully buy it.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Daniel's is justified by him being homeless for some time.
  • Benevolent Boss: A Good Is Not Nice variant. Jason and Glen's boss Bates responds to Jason being three hours late for work with a mild stern word. Given that it's the Friday before a long weekend, he might be cutting him some slack.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jason's comes out towards the end, and he's persuaded to help Daniel out.
  • Binge Montage: There's a few, given it's set on a long weekend.
  • Advertisement:
  • Black Comedy: When asked how he managed to afford to travel from London to Dublin, Daniel snarks "I'm homeless; I'm not fucking destitute!"
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Glen (blond), Jason (brunet), Bobby (redhead). Dave is black-haired, adding the fourth colour to the mix. Given that Bobby is jailed early in the film, Daniel then fills the redhead slot.
  • Britain is Only London: Despite being set in Dublin, whenever England is mentioned, the only city that comes up is London.
    • The DJs there for the weekend are said to be from London.
    • Daniel spent time on the streets of London before moving back to Dublin.
    • Gemma and her boyfriend are planning to move to London.
  • Camp Gay: Glen has bleach blond hair, a very loud wardrobe and gives a very camp Badass Boast as the weekend begins.
  • The City vs. the Country: The rave in the country is shown to be much more fun and uplifting than the ones in the city.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Most of the characters are inner city Dubs, so understandably they drop a few curse words.
  • Country Matters: The word is dropped multiple times, as it's not seen as a major swear word in Ireland.
  • Country Mouse: Subverted. Lisa is from Cork, the only main character not from Dublin, and she's not shown as more innocent or naive than her friends. Of course she could be from Cork City, which isn't that much smaller than Dublin.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Jason loses his phone early on while running from the police - which allows for some third act drama.
  • Dublin Skanger: Jason downplays it, but it's used to put him into contrast with his posher South Dublin ex. Dave the Rave plays it shamelessly straight.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Daniel does not like being referred to as 'Dano'.
  • Erudite Stoner: Jason is prone to narrating World of Cardboard Speeches while under the influence.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Dave is introduced taking drugs with cops literally feet away.
  • Expansion Pack Past: Bates changes the story of how his record store got founded multiple times in the space of three minutes.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film opens on a Friday afternoon and finishes on a Monday morning.
  • First Law of Tragicomedies: The first two acts are relatively light-hearted, while the more emotional scenes come in the third act.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Daniel was actually the responsible sibling back in the day - with a college degree and good prospects before his drug habit derailed everything. Jason is now the responsible sibling by comparison.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Jason tries to invoke this after it's revealed he had a quickie with Gemma the previous week. Trying to tell her that her boyfriend cheats as well just gets an annoyed reaction.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Flashbacks show that Jason had the same short combover hairstyle as a child.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Lisa is rarely seen without a bottle in her hands.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Jason is still pining for his red haired ex Gemma.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Jason is convinced to be there for his brother after getting high multiple times that weekend.
  • In Da Club: The first rave the protagonists attend is in a grimy inner city nightclub.
  • Irony: Bobby is jailed by the guards when they raid the house. He gets released when the only thing they actually find on him is perfectly legal.
  • Life of the Party: Both Dave and Jason strive to be so, with varying degrees of success.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Jason literally doesn't change out of his jeans, blue t-shirt and leather jacket for the whole film.
  • Missing Mom: It's implied that Jason's died of a terminal illness some time ago. He sadly reveals that Daniel's died a year ago and they couldn't find him to give the news.
  • My Greatest Failure: Daniel apparently stole medication from his adoptive mother, who was battling a terminal illness, to feed his drug habit. He's regretted it ever since.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Daniel discovers his mother has been dead for a year, and he never knew because no one was able to track him down.
  • No Romantic Resolution: None whatsoever between Jason and Gemma.
  • Not So Different: Despite Jason being functional, it's pointed out that he's not that much better than Daniel. The latter claims "you're a week away from being me."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Dave is trying to enforce this by going by 'Dave the Rave'. Jason is not impressed.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Jason and Lisa seem to be the closest out of the peer group, but there's never any hint of romantic attraction between them.
  • Police Are Useless: The police who raid the house are shown to be incompetent and a mere nuisance.
  • Please Wake Up: Jason when trying to revive an unconscious Daniel in the end.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Jason delivers a pretty nasty one to Daniel about all his screw-ups in the past.
    • Subverted when Bobby tells Jason he's an asshole for not bailing him out of prison - as he adds that Jason knows that already.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Daniel suggests that fate keeps drawing he and Jason together. The latter argues that Dublin isn't big and it's logically that it's just a coincidence.
  • Running Gag: Everyone seems to comment on the smell of petrol throughout the film. One of the last lines is Daniel noticing it's coming from Jason.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Lampshaded. Gemma is now known as Jason's ex-girlfriend, when she was previously part of their whole social circle. Lisa compares it to a Divorce Assets Conflict where they got Jason.
  • Scenery Porn: The protagonists take a trip to Wicklow in the third act, showing off some beautiful scenery of Glendalough national park.
  • Shock Party: In the second act, the protagonists are at a rave that was supposed to be started in an abandoned house but is actually held in a fancy apartment. The owner is not happy when she arrives home to discover this.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy:
    • Jason and Lisa get sidetracked talking about Disney Princesses and whether they had their vaginas animated too.
    • Daniel makes a joke about selling his hair for money, prompting a lengthy rebuttal from Jason on why that is a terrible idea.
  • Slice of Life: The majority of the film is following Jason around on a long weekend, with the drama of his half-brother only coming to the forefront in the third act.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: Jason is obviously working class, with a thick inner city accent and he's something of a Lower-Class Lout. Gemma has a much posher south Dublin accent and a nicer house.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jason's two friends Lisa and Aishling. Lisa is a Lad Ette who has a very unladylike way of speaking and a grungier style. Aishling is more traditionally feminine, is introduced doing Lisa's hair and complains about her straighteners being vandalised by the police.
  • Troubled Back Story Flashback: Jason keeps flashing back to a memory of himself and Daniel as children. Subverted when it turns out the memory is a happy one - of Jason telling Daniel he'll have his back when being bullied.
  • 24-Hour Party People: Jason's social circle seem to live for partying.
  • Vague Age: Jason could be anywhere from late twenties to mid thirties. It's said in his narration that he's trying to hold onto his last vestiges of youth for as long as he can.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Lisa and Aishling spend most of the film wearing shorts.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: