Thursday, January 20, 2011

Neil Jordan's Irish Fairytale: Ondine

Colin Farrell, Ireland's prodigal son, and little known Polish actress Alicja Bachleda perform cinematic miracles in Neil Jordan's latest film. Jordan, who is one of Ireland's most prolific auteur's, writes and directs this modern day fairytale of a Cork County fisherman who scoops a drowned woman in his net.
Darkly poetic and hauntingly tender, Ondine lulls the viewer into believing odd occurrences are more than just random strangeness floating up from the chilly black waters, but a manifestation of magical properties come to enlighten and inspire.  In typical Jordan style, a dulled tonality matches the sentiment of a small drink and gossip-riddled coastal town in rural Ireland where Syracuse, or Circus as he is called by everyone (played by Farrell), is the only sober drunk.  Though conversations with his only "sobriety buddy", who is Stephen Rea playing the parish priest, and drama with his ex, Circus does his best to rake in a living from the sea and prove himself worthy of his young daughters affections.  His routine is softly interrupted when a beautiful women is found amongst the fishes in his trollers small net.  With her she brings excitement, wonder, trouble, love and redemption.  Though the film as a whole is wonderful, special praise must be given to Colin Farrell's performance for his tender sweet and introverted interpretation.               


  1. I thought it was very beautiful and magical but I was devastated by the ending. I felt it destroyed all that had come before it and was quite angered. But I completely agree about Colin Farrell, what an excellent actor! He was great in this.

  2. Really? Interesting perspective...It had to be a happy ending. Because it would have been too dark without it, I think. But I loved the play between the childs desire to believe that magic was real in a world that had so devestated her and the reality of drug mules and modern slavery. I thought it was a subtile commentary on perceptions through a lense of innocence slane by the dangerous reality of this world of suffering in which we are all a part. I thought it was a little weird the relationship between Circus and whatshername from the sea and I wondered if it was all just a visa/nationality subtext from the beginning or if that was thrown in as an after thought...