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The story of an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a mermaid.
The latest film from acclaimed director Neil Jordan, Ondine is a real change in direction for him, telling as it does the story of a fisherman by the name of Syracuse who one day catches a mysterious woman in his nets. This woman is the Ondine of the film’s title. But could she be a magical creature? That’s one part of the mystery of Ondine, which plays out as a modern fairy tale as much as anything else. It’s also the story of Syracuse and his young daughter Annie too, a pair who for various reasons are having tough times. When Ondine comes into their lives, things are inevitably brought into focus, and the scene is set for a good, solid drama, albeit not always a comfortable or happy one. Among the acting highlights, we get a lower-key lead performance from Colin Farrell as Syracuse. But the highlight of Ondine is arguably Alison Barry, who plays his daughter. Jordon too does fine work behind the camera, keeping things low key and effective throughout. Ondine is a film with problems, sure, and it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. But it’s worth seeking out as a quiet picture that swims just a little against the tide, and it’s all the better for it. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
The story concerns an Irish fisherman Syracuse, played by Colin Farrell, who catches a rather beautiful girl, played by Alicja Bachleda, in his fishing nets. Some blokes get all the luck! All I ever seem to catch is the occasional, very unnattractive looking dogfish. He sensibly decides not to throw her back in. The girl speaks with a strange accent and swims like a fish. Things get curiouser and curiouser. Is she a Selkie (mermaid) of Irish mythology? Is she perhaps just an illegal immigrant? The plot thickens and is complicated further as our fisherman predictably falls in love with his catch, and what red blooded male wouldn't. The water nyph sings like an angel, and Syracuse even begins to catch salmon and lobster, long thought fished out in the area. Who could fail to be enamoured! But as in the fairy stories of the brothers Grimm, there is a dark side to our story.
Director and writer Neil Jordan, and his star Colin Farrell have gone back to their roots for this one. The film was made in Castletownbere, in County Cork, Ireland, where Jordan lives. Farrell made one of his early TV appearances which was filmed in the village.Read more ›
Colin Farrell has become a great actor - not just a good one - a great one - and there's a very real difference. As wildly differing characters, he has amassed an accumulation of powerhouse performances in "London Boulevard", "In Bruges", "Crazy Heart" and "The Way Back" - there seems little he can't do. And Director/Writer Neil Jordan was smart enough to surround him with a hugely complimentary cast on "Ondine" (filmed in 2008) that I dare say the handsome and talented Dubliner absolutely relished working with.
Set in a quiet fishing village in Southern Ireland, Farrell plays Syracuse (nick-named "Circus" because of his previous clown-like antics when drunk) who goes out to fish every day, but both life and the sea have beaten him and his boat into a hopeless wreck. But then something almost mystical happens...
The gorgeous Alicja Bachleda is "Ondine" - a woman literally fished out of the Sea into Syarcuse's trawler net one afternoon. Maybe she's a magical sea-creature - maybe she's not. She can't remember - but mysteriously she seems aware enough to not want to see 'other people' whom she perceives as dangerous. And whenever she sings on his boat, bountiful things happen to his catch - and therefore his fortunes.
Recovering from drink himself, a broken marriage to another drunk (a great performance of skill from Dervla Kirwan) and trying to keep his sick daughter alive (a sensational and touching turn by newcomer Alison Barry), Farrell's character has his hands full.Read more ›
Things take a turn when one day, while out on the boat trawling through the ocean for his daily fish, Syracuse finds - much to his surprise - a beautiful girl in his nets. When she comes to she introduces herself as Ondine, and insists that he not take her to the hospital. Grudgingly, Syracuse hides Ondine away in his late mother's ramshackle cottage, but Annie, inquisitive little creature that she is, soon discovers her father's secret: a selkie, she believes; a mythical seal-creature who has left her skin in the sea to spend seven years and seven tears on Syracuse.
As Annie, newcomer Alison Barry is lumbered with the larger part of Ondine's mythical underpinnings. Having checked out all the local library's books on the subject, she acts as the mouthpiece for all the fantastic aspects of the film, explaining the history and practices of selkies - a thankless role, you might think, yet Barry steals the show. This little girl is a revelation: heartbreakingly brave during dialysis sessions, wonderfully witty in her exchanges with Ondine and a smart foil for Colin Farrell's struggling fisherman.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely gorgeous film! Visually stunning and the acting in it is just fabulous! I so enjoyed the plot, the mixture of reality and myth is just divine!Published 9 months ago by Natasha Harris
this was a unique film .the story was captivating and well protrayed.Published 14 months ago by mary campbell