This movie only further proves that communication and talking conflicts through are the best ways to approach anything in life, including serving life in prison– from the mouth of Tom Vaughn the movie’s lead actor.
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, (The Infiltrator) takes the lead role as the republican “British” inmate, Larry Marley a prisoner who Larry Marley organized the most profound and historical jail break in history.
He facilitated the jail break of more than 38 prisoners who escaped one of the highest security prisons in Europe. It has become renowned as the great “Maze Prison Escape.”
This independent, Irish film title just – Maze, is based on historical facts that involves the main prisoner, Larry Marley and another warden, Gordon Close (Barry Ward.)
To research his role Vaughan-Lawlor interviewed and greeted many of the original prison-escapees.
He stated that while trying to do the best to capture the essence of the lead character he realized that communication was key to the film doing its best to portray the events accurately. He said:
“I don’t mean that in a flippant way, I just mean people being in rooms, talking face to face, and reading each other’s sensibilities and flaws and weaknesses and fears and listening, and that is the journey of this film.”That it charts that journey of two men who are brought together and realise that dialogue reflects back on you your own shortcomings and your own strengths and how that can hopefully bring about the resolution of conflict.”
The film debuted in Northern Ireland in Belfast on this past Thursday.
More About the Movie: Maze Prison Escape
In the movie, a warder is befriended by prisoner, Larry Marley trying to better understand prison procedures and identify weaknesses which could allow an escape, but who is also depicted as wanting a better future for his family.
The prison officer is rendered a virtual prisoner at home after a failed attack on him while out with his family left him needing enhanced security.
Vaughan-Lawlor said the “commonality” between the pair was shown without them necessarily understanding or realising it themselves.
Their family lives were mirrored in the effect their political choices had on their loved ones, the ordeal they endured while they were inside the famous H Block cells near Belfast, he added. He said:
“There is counterpoint between the two characters but there always is very great common ground and that that dialogue is this kind of dance of them trying to understand each other.”
Ward said they forced each other to self-reflect.
In real life, one prison officer was killed and another seriously injured during the episode. (RIP John Hanna)
Vaughan-Lawlor stated that this account is not sensationalized or over dramatic nor a sappy account of the true character in form.
“There is detail and complexity and rigour and frustration and it is always an ongoing dialogue.”
He said it was not about publicity:
“The heart of the film for me is this relationship and if that was not there and it was just a straight story about a prison escape I would not have had any interest in doing it, because it would have been a very slight, insensitive, boring film.”
It was about understanding that the context of conversation and communication is of the utmost importance:
“That until people sit down and speak to each other and see the humanity in each other, that that is the only way to progress. And what I think is clever about this film is that it has a universality, in that unfortunately conflicts everywhere in the world have similarities and the potential to resolve always comes down to people sitting in a room, having a cup of tea and conversing.”
Vaughan-Lawlor is arguably best known for his role in the RTE broadcaster’s series Love/Hate.
It’s these types of True life biopics and films that allow us as the public (on the outside) to relate so fondly with so many heroic tales and also those that tell deeper stories into the lives and minds of those living their lives in US & world prisons!