His lyric turn as 's Fergus, the reluctant terrorist/lover, leaves audiences feeling proprietary, wondering what will become of their hapless guide whose descent into London's demimonde forms the movie's emotional core. "He's an innocent because ideology has closed him off to a lot of things," Rea explains, as if speaking about a close but fragile friend. "And then suddenly, when somebody becomes available to him, the floodgates open. He's on a sort of a quest for redemption, but he ends up sullied, doesn't he?"
While his perforrnance propels the movie, Rea says it's Jordan who is responsible for 's tenuous and surreal tone. "I'm arrogant enough to think I've done a lot for the film, but it's completely Neil," says Rea. He's always had this amazing vision, and he's enormously equipped to give flesh to it."
This particular vision, like many of Rea's chosen projects, achieves its momentum by way of a political conflict, and yet Rea is reluctant to be considered political. It's not too terrific for an actor to be identified with a particular issue," he says. "People start to think you can't do comedy."
There's no getting around it, though, as Rea's personal life begs the question. He was born the son of a bus driver in Belfast, where he still lives with his wife, Dolours Price, and their sons, Danny, 3 1/2, and Oscar (after Wilde), 2 1/2. Before they were married, Price, once active in the movement for Irish independence, spent eight years in prison, convicted of a car bombing in the early '70s, though Rea says that neither of them is politically active now.
This last subject, which Rea rarely discusses, gets broached by interviewers with great trepidation. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay," he whispers to ward off further apologies. "I've been worked over by the English press because there's an assumption that my politics are identical with my wife's, and for that matter that my wife's politics are identical with her politics of 20 years ago."
Rea stops to think just how much he wants to see in print. He proceeds. "I don't feel ashamed of my wife's political background, and I don't think she should either. I feel that the people who administered the North of Ireland for the last 20 years should be ashamed. There you are," he says, as if he has just served soup. "That's a political statement." Holy Mother of God, indeed.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Time, Inc.
The Reluctant Terrorist is Kavon's second book for Proverse. It is a novel of adventure and mystery and suspense. Yet one suspects that the author's own life was (and is) as colourful as his writing. He saw action in Central America during the conflict between the Sandinistas (the National Liberation Front) and the Contras, and he has had, and perhaps still has, more than a passing interest in the conflict in Afghanistan.
The Reluctant Terrorist by Harvey Schwartz | Foboko
Cole, Teju: Open City; Cunningham, Michael: Specimen Days; DeLillo, Don: Falling Man; Gibson, William: Pattern Recognition; Halaby, Laila: Once in a Promised Land; Hamid, Mohsin: The Reluctant Terrorist; McCarthy, Tom: Remainder; McEwan, Ian: Saturday; Moore, Laurie: A Gate at the Stairs; O'Neill, Joseph: Netherland; Waldman, Amy: The Submission; Whitehead, Colson: Zone One
Mohsin Ahmed (Author of The Reluctant Terrorist)
In Kavon's second novel, The Reluctant Terrorist: In The Path Of The Jizo (Published March 2011), a Japanese businessman takes a deliberately modest revenge against another Japanese family that damaged his own during the Second World War. His surprising act of terrorism is a paradoxical gesture for peace. We meet again characters from Kavon's first novel.
The Reluctant Terrorist : A Novel of the American Holocaust