Day 45: Ondine (2009)

Usually I have no clue how many of the films in my queue end up there. Not true for Ondine. I remember exactly how it found a place on my list. My husband and I were planning a trip to Ireland this past summer. We were going to meet up with my parents, my sister, and a few of their friends. Before the trip, I was scrambling to research about Ireland. Where should we stay? What should we see? Do I have to drink Guinness? As I typically do when I research, I was browsing’s selection of trailers (hey, I like to watch trailers, OK?) and happened upon Ondine. The trailer pointed out that it takes place in Ireland. Hey– I was going to Ireland! Done. It was in my queue seconds later.


Ondine stars Colin Farrell as Irish fisherman who catches a mysterious, beautiful woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets one day while fishing (if the geeky men from IT departments worldwide hear about this, I expect there will be an increase in net fishing off of the Irish coast soon). She begs him to keep her existence a secret. Naturally, he tells his sick daughter, Annie, about the woman– only thinly veiled in the form of a story. Annie believes this woman to be a mythic sea creature. When unusual things begin to happen to them, both father and daughter begin to believe Ondine is no ordinary woman. Is Ondine a magical being or is she just a woman with a secret?


This movie is very sweet. I used to be anti-Colin Farrell, but after watching In Bruges (which is a great film), I decided to give him another chance. This is an interesting role for Farrell. While he has achieved success in Hollywood blockbuster films, I think it is awesome he chose to do a small, Irish film (OK, it is directed by Neil Jordan, so it isn’t totally obscure; but it’s certainly a low-budget, character-driven film). While at times, I felt some of the actors were over-acting a bit; the majority of the scenes have a cozy, intimate feel.


Surprisingly, the scenery isn’t what I expected. Usually in the Ireland-based films I have seen, the audience is blasted with scene upon scene of rolling hills, saturated with green vegetation. Often, a main character (almost always a beautiful woman) will stand on a cliff lush with green plants and speckled artistically with boulders, the waves crashing down below as the wind whips her hair around like the cartoon Pocahontas. This does not happen in Ondine. Instead, the scenery is almost drab—shades of blue and gray. Much of  the film is dark (this made it hard for me to see as light from my window was reflecting off of the screen). To me, this tonality underscores the importance of the sea in this tale. Emphasizing these hues in the film, Jordan seems to want to imitate the feeling of being underwater (and when it’s super hot outside, that is quite refreshing). It was gritty, and sometimes made me feel like I was watching The Deadliest Catch, but without the seasickness that inevitably strikes me when I watch that series.


I was pleasantly surprised by the film, although I have mixed feelings about the end. It was a nice film– the kind you wouldn’t mind if they moved in next door as opposed to,say, living next door to Wallace and Gromit (Let’s face it, sometimes their inventions go a little too crazy and there is always this strange cheese smell emanating from their place). Weird. Anyway this is a nice, little film. Although I can’t say I will be thinking about this movie for weeks to come, it was cute. Isn’t that all I can ask for on a Friday?


Happy weekend!!!:)


Score: B-

Netflix Queue: 470

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Well, sounds like the look matched the actual look of Ireland more. I guess Ireland had some nice parts, but overall it wasn’t the prettiest place in the world, I thought.

    October 2nd, 2010

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