Directed by Neil Jordan ( The Crying Game ) and based on an elaborate yarn written by Pat McCabe, Breakfast On Pluto stars the Golden Globe-nominated Cillian Murphy as the misadventurous Patrick Kitten Braden.
Kitten is a deceptively tough transgender hero with an exceptionally fabulous carefree spirit and a lyrical Irish brogue, on a quest to find her biological mother.
In McCabe’s original best-selling Booker Prize-nominated novel, our hero was a certain Patrick Pussy Braden. Kitten is obviously a little more comfortable on the ear. (The Irish brogue, on the other hand, is delicious but tough to keep up with.)
McCabe clearly has a robust taste for the outrageous. Aside from the name change, Jordan doesn’t let him down in this adaptation.
Kitten shacks up with a host of unusual characters en route to find her Phantom Lady, believed to bear a striking resemblance to Hollywood actress Mitzi Gaynor.
She encounters Liam Neeson as a philandering priest (who she suspects is her father), Bryan Ferry as a sicko murderer Mr Silky String, and Gavin Friday as a closeted gay rockabilly/IRA gun runner.
Jordan and McCabe have collaborated before, with an adaptation of McCabe’s earlier oddball novel The Butcher Boy , featuring visions of Sinead O’Connor as the Virgin Mary.
Cillian Murphy’s Kitten lives up to the surreal fantasy of the Jordan/McCabe vision, making constant whimsy of the very serious Irish border town of Tyreelin during the tense IRA conflicts of the 50s, 60s and 70s.
To the outrage of her schoolmasters, Kitten submits an essay describing in hilarious detail the imagined story of the local priest ravishing his innocent housekeeper. It’s a vigorous and rather accurate fantasy about her conception.
Eventually expelled from school, Kitten sets off to London to seek out the Phantom Lady.
Almost perpetually homeless in the world’s biggest city, Kitten takes on all kinds of odd jobs, including a brief role with a cheap-suit London pub magician as his hypnotised saw-in-half assistant.
There are in-between flings with the world’s oldest profession and a stint in a head-to-toe Wombles costume in a kiddie amusement park full of giant toadstools. Kitten even settles into one of the toadstools for a wee while and life seems rather romantic.
Then Kitten becomes a casualty of a London nightclub bombing. Rushed to the emergency ward, her biological gender is discovered. An Irish transsexual at the scene of the crime, she becomes the prime suspect for the bombing.
If I wasn’t a transvestite terrorist, would you marry me? she asks her interrogators and writes down an imaginary terrorist adventure in which, complete with black leather cat suit, she knocks out terrorists with a puff of perfume to the nose.
The cops concede they’ve made a mistake and she’s out on the streets again until accepted into a co-op peep show. That’s where the clues to the Phantom Lady’s location and identity start to unravel along with the threads of this exceptionally rowdy yarn.
Queer Screen will present an advance preview screening of Breakfast On Pluto Monday 14 August, 6:30pm at the Verona Cinema on Oxford Street, Paddington. Book through the MCA tix website or on 1300 306 776.