Lodge Kerrigan’s debut feature Clean, Shaven deals with a lot of the same themes that Keane does in mental illness and isolation. In Clean, Shaven the analysis of the character is magnificently done, but at the same time, it’s very easy to spot that it’s a debut feature. Kerrigan was experimenting with the mind of a deranged character and trying to shock the audience, which is something that Keane does not do. It focuses entirely on the titular character’s mind and his motivation which makes the content even more disturbing when you begin to understand his feelings and past, and to that degree it feels like a more complete piece.
Damien Lewis takes on the role. Right from the off-set as Keane confronts ticket agents at a train station in apparent search of his missing daughter, the mind of the character is explored to an incredible level and Lewis’ performance is filled with just the right amount of anger, emotion and love for it to work magnificently. Later on, as the anger burn out and the real love begins to flow, we are introduced to a young 6-year old girl Kira who has similarities to the way Keane describes his ‘’daughter’’ to the agents and that’s where the ideas of the film really begin to flow.
In all truth, this miniscule piece has more power and truth in it that most romantic films and Kerrigan’s pacing of it, as slow as it seems at times, works to utter perfection. See this film.