Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Swooping across sparkling azure waters, the first shots of Neil Jordan’s Ondine envision Ireland amid a sea bubbling with ancient mystical forces. When the camera settles on the boat of a glum-faced, scruffy-haired fisherman named Syracuse (Colin Farrell), we know sooner or later that something supernatural is bound to intrude upon his dreary routine. It finally arrives in the form of a beautiful amphibious female (Alicja Bachleda) curled in a fetal position in his net, a discovery whose strangeness the fisherman accepts matter-of-factly. As in the director’s previous cinematic homecomings, such casual acknowledgment of the world’s magical-realist capacities serves to indicate cultural Irishness—a reliance on wild Celtic imagination in the face of an unstable modernity. Once Syracuse’s young, wheelchair-bound daughter (Alison Barry) identifies his catch as a “selkie”—a half-woman, half-seal creature who can shed her original moss-clump of skin in exchange for a seven-year fling with a landsman—we are encouraged to suspend our disbelief, sit back, and wait for these unconvincingly reticent lovers to get it on. [The rest of the post can be read at Film Comment.]

1 comment:

Akanksha said...

The movie sounds to be good. I love watching any film directed by Neil Jordan. Going to watch it this weekend. Hoping that I will not be disappoint with it.
Ondine 2010