DVD Review: Ondine

By Drum Digital
23 February 2011

Rating 3/5

Romantic Drama. 2009. 104 min. With Colin Farrell, Alison Barry and Alicja Bachleda. Director: Neil Jordan. 13Pgv.

Farrell goes back to his Irish roots for this whimsical romance about a down-on-his-luck fisherman called Syracuse, who catches a woman who calls herself Ondine (Bachleda) in his net. Who is she, where did she come from and why doesn’t she want anyone to see her? Syracuse’s precocious daughter, Annie (Barry), thinks she’s a selkie,amagical seal that can shed its coat and become a woman on land. Perhaps Ondine can heal her kidney failure and give her dad something to hope for again?

Director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game) combines Celtic folklore and the romantic image of Ireland with the country’s modern- day issues such as poverty and alcohol abuse to create a gentle fable that, like Syracuse’s chance at happiness, is constantly threatened by harsh reality. The pace is sometimes slow but Farrell and Barry have an endearing father-daughter dynamic and Bachleda casts a spell as the mysterious mermaid.

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