Wayfare Entertainment, Irish Film Board, Octagon Films

Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan, Alison Barry, Marion O’Dwyer, Tony Curran, Mary O’Shea, Gemma Reeves, Stephen Rea, Norma Sheahan

Ondine is a fairy tale.  It could be great, but it has a few problems that hold it back.  This is the story of a fisherman who is rasing a little girl with kidney failure who is really sick.  He’s working hard trying to take care of her, but when he pulls in the nets one day, he finds a mysterious woman in his net who is nearly dead.   He saves her life, but she really has no idea how she got there.  Or if she does, she’s not saying.  Is she just a woman, or is she more than that?  Syracuse (Colin Farrell) believes she’s a mermaid, but Annie (Alison Barry) believes she’s a “selkie”, a mythical seal person who can remove her skin and become human for 7 years.

The problem with the DVD is that there are no English subtitles, and the dialect is a West Cork County Irish dialect that is very hard to understand.  To make it worse, much of the dialog is quiet and very hard to follow.  That takes a lot away from the movie, especially for folks like me who don’t hear so well.   (I understand the Blu-Ray version does have English subtitles).  Also the story is kind of slow sometimes, but there is a lot of character development, and it really feels like a trip to Ireland.   Also, the ending happens pretty sudden, and the “twist” leaves a lot of people disappointed.

But it is a good story, with interesting characters.  And it is a fairy tale after all.  I think they did what they set out to do, and it is an enjoyable movie, even if it’s not as great as it could have been.  I cautiously recommend it for someone who is interested in a fantasy story, able to put aside the flaws, and enjoy the tale.

Note:  NetFlix has just announced that this film will be available on “Watch Instantly” on 10/20/2010.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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Movie Review - Ondine (2009) {PG-13}, 1.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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