Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ondine - Something Wonderful, or Something Terrible

Ondine is an Irish film drenched in magical realism. For magical realism to work - for me - the realism must be subtle and not overpower the magic.

Something Wonderful: the magic here is truly wonderful. Colin Farrell plays an Irish fisherman, a "landsman", who, in the very first scene pulls his net out of the water and finds there is a woman in it. Having no exposition beforehand works - it is a powerful scene  that we know is not supposed to happen, so we can get thrown right into the action and still feel comfortable.

Something Terrible: Though I have always felt good about understanding a thick Irish brogue, combined with cinematic sound which I have lots of complaints about any way, it was pretty hard to understand much of the dialogue.

Something Wonderful: to the films credit, the performances and cinematography are so perfect, it was surprisingly easy to not care about missed dialogue. Will need to catch the DVD and watch it with subtitles.

Something Wonderful: the woman pulled out of the sea may or may not be a Selkie, a folk being who is a seal in the water. The performance by Alison Barry playing Farrell's young daughter drives the mystery of whether the woman is a Selkie or not. Barry wants to believe, and the interaction between all three of these main characters is truly wonderful.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***
Something Terrible: In the very end of the film, the realism overpowers the magic. In a film like this, you should be left wondering about what is real - is she a Selkie? Does it matter? But the wondrous possible Selkie should never turn out to be a Romanian drug mule. That kind of spoils things.
***END SPOILER***

Add it up and we have three Wonderful's to two Terrible's. The Wonderful's win and the movie is hauntingly beautiful. The accents can be looked over because the acting, plot and visuals are really stunning. Farrell really is amazing here, as are the rest of the cast. You might want to stop watching, though, once the Ondine appears to have gone away.

3 comments:

WEB SHERIFF said...

WEB SHERIFF
Who You Gonna Call
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
www.websheriff.com

Hi Joe,

On behalf of Magnolia Pictures and the movie’s producers, many thanks for plugging "Ondine" ... .. thanks also, on behalf of the distributors and producers, for not posting any pirate copies or non-trailer clips of "Ondine" and if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then the official trailer for "Ondine" is available for fans and bloggers to post / host / share etc at http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/ondine/ ... .. for further details of on-line promotions for this movie and Magnolia releases generally, check-out www.magpictures.com and their official YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/MagnoliaPictures .

Thanks again for your plug.

Regards,

WEB SHERIFF

Joe Muszynski said...

NIce to see what you are doing, Web Sheriff! I actually link to the film site through the title and the picture I posted from the press kit. I usually make the link more explicit and will try to do so in the future.

WEB SHERIFF said...

WEB SHERIFF
Who You Gonna Call
Tel 44-(0)208-323 8013
Fax 44-(0)208 323 8080
websheriff@websheriff.com
www.websheriff.com

Hi Again Joe,

Many thanks for your follow-up post ... .. and keep up the great work !!

All The Best,

WEB SHERIFF