Running Time: 111 minutes
Directed by: Neil Jordan
Starring: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Stephen Rea, Alison Barry
The Irish indie film is set in the coast of County Cork and follows the tale of Syracuse (Colin Farrell) – also known as Circus – a fisherman, and his curious yet intelligent daughter, Annie (Alison Barry). One day, Syracuse finds a young woman, who goes by the name Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) in his fishing net. After resuscitating her, Syracuse offers her a place to stay since she is reluctant to be hospitalized or go into town. Syracuse then tells Annie about his encounter with Ondine, which leads her to believe that Ondine is a selkie, a mythical being. The story develops as Syracuse and Annie learn more about Ondine and her past.
Though the movie is simple, with a very cliché tone to its plot, however, believe me, it turned out to be quite unique and unexpected at times. The film was directed and wrote by Neil Jordan who previously directed “The End of the Affair (1999),” “Michael Collins (1996)” and “Interview with the Vampire (1994).” What attracted me to the film was the folklore of Selkes, and honestly, Colin Farrell. I was searching for an Irish film and stumbled into this. So, speaking of Colin Farrell, I think he gave a fairly decent performance in this film as an ex-alcoholic who tries to better his life and that of his daughter (I’m seeing a lot of similarities between the character and the actor himself), which I guess helped Farrell to get into his character fairly easy. Alicja Bachleda who played Ondine in this film, was quite alright. I mean she did quite well with the character’s sense of being foreign to a place, and the sensuality of a mythical creature, however there still lack the air of mysteriousness that just couldn’t captivate the audience’s attention and interest I think. The plot was intriguing and like I said, quite unique, but towards the end I just felt, everything was too sudden and messy, after a very slow ride throughout. But, don’t get me wrong, I still believe that this film is worth a watch, but just be prepared for a quick wrap towards the end. Oh and not to mention, after going through some forums and comments, there’s quite a few complaints regarding the strong Irish accents, so make sure you’re prepared for that as well!
Overall, the film is filled with magnificent scenery of the mountains, the sea and cloudy skies, with a quick sneak peek into the Irish lifestyle, with some decent acting, and an interesting storyline. Give it a try if you like folklore and romantic dramas!
Rating: 6 ½ out of 10.