Mattress Men is a Revealing Documentary by Colm Quinn
Mattress Men is a film set in Ireland, against the backdrop of a failing business that’s in desperate need of a revival. Released in 2016, Mattress Men is a fine example of a documentary meant to make you think, whilst also keeping things light-hearted enough to be watchable and enjoyed all the way through. It’s not hard to sit through a viewing of Mattress Men, thanks to the fine work of director Colm Quinn.
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Within the film, lead character Michael Flynn aims to reinvent his mattress company, and subsequently himself, and takes on the online persona of ‘Mattress Mick’. To aid him on his journey, Michael turns to the aid of his friend Paul Kelly, to help create funny and punchy videos to post on social media, with the aim of going viral.
The videos begin to be noticed by bigger internet personalities, with a much larger reach than either Michael or Paul. It’s at this moment when the business really begins to take off. Of course, with the movie split into a traditional three-act structure that’s easy to understand and follow, audiences can anticipate that things aren’t as simple as they seem.
Whilst the plotline is distinctly and firmly rooted in its setting of Dublin and describes an Irish take on the current financial and social zeitgeist, it’s the reveal into the struggle of managing business and friendship at the same time that really allows audiences to relate.
Mattress Men Shows Us How Doing Business With Friends Can Be A Recipe for Disaster
The relationship between the two main characters is at the center of the plot, and simply would not be so hard-hitting and close to home without it. Whilst the movie does have great comedic timing, and brilliant comedic chemistry between the two main characters, it can still be viewed as a startling look into staying afloat in all areas of life.
Many watchers will be able to identify with the themes present, thanks to the charming tone in writing and pace of the movie itself. Seeing the relationship between the characters break down, change and evolve over the course of the movie is key to ensuring that this entry into the documentary world of Irish film is a hit.
It’s easy to see how the forces of business and friendship have their own, potentially equally harmful effects on life, and that it’s very hard to find the right balance and blend between the two when the odds are stacked against you.
An Award-Winning Entry in Irish Film
Mattress Men was nominated for and won both of the award categories it was entered into. Winner of the ‘Best Documentary’ at the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards in 2016, and winner of the ‘Best Feature Documentary’ at the George Morrison Feature Documentary Award in 2017, Mattress Men scored across the board on national terms.
Financial Uncertainty in Ireland
Of course, at the film’s core is the background of the modern working world and the finances that many within it do not have access to. Employing the use of modern technology to try and keep up, with undignified and generally silly attempts to secure that one viral clip they need, the film does not shy away from making sure the watcher sees how the common financial austerity is working in Ireland, and what the common worker does not gain from the system they are a part of.
Working for a crippling bottom line is what drives the characters into turning away from one another, and using each other’s ideas and presence for their own financial gain. The film fills in the gaps for you; the message of not being able to take care of yourself, let alone others, is present throughout the plot, and all thanks to a much larger financial system a person has no control over, that will be relevant to anyone anywhere in the world.
Mattress Men: The Bottom Line
Mattress Men is a fine example of a revealing documentary that everyone interested in current socio-economic policies and how they affect the working man should see. It’s a film made with care and attention, apparent in every single one of Colm Quinn’s shots. It’s a must-see for common audiences and works well within the genre of both dark reality and light-hearted wit, combining these two carefully crafted themes to help balance the nitty-gritty with the need to pull the audience in.