Monday, November 15, 2010
I was really looking forward to seeing Ondine. Finally a romantic film with Colin Farrell! It played only in very limited release for about a minute, so I missed it on the big screen. I discovered this weekend that's it's now available on Netflix Watch Instantly.
The film is written and directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), which should have told me from the start that this would be no typical romantic film. The tone is more wistful and dark, for an
"adult" fairy tale. Fisherman Syracuse (Colin Farrell) discovers the lovely Polish Alicja Bachleda in his net. She refuses to go to a doctor or the hospital and is fearful of being seen by anyone. He lets her stay at his late mother's cottage.
Syracuse has a precocious daughter in a wheelchair, and while she's getting kidney dialysis, he tells her the story of a fisherman who finds what may be a selkie in his net. The real romance to be honest is between Alicja's "selkie" and Syracuse's daughter, Annie. I also love the relationship between Syracuse and the village priest played by Stephen Rea. (Who would have thought early in Stephen Rea's career that he would end up playing so many priests?)
The cinematography is gorgeous as is the Irish coastal setting, which adds to the fairytale feel of most of the film. The last part of the film suddenly lurches into harsh thriller realism. It's jarring for the audience, and the characters in the film.
I have very mixed feelings about this film, partially because I had such high hopes for what it might be. What it is, is a quiet sweet little indie film, but it's not quite the magical Colin Farrell romance film that I'd imagined it would be. If I'd gone into it knowing nothing, and expecting nothing, maybe I would have a different take.
Definitely worth a view for Farrell fans, but I'm glad I didn't pay full freight to see it in the theater. Two and a half stars. I also wish I could have watched it with closed captioning as the Irish accents were very thick!