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Ondine
DVD disk
10.18.2010 By: Johnny Moreno
Ondine order
Director:
Neil Jordan

Actors:
Colin Farrell
Stephen Rea
Alicja Bachleda

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
While making his daily rounds, a fisherman finds a woman in his fishing net, leading him (and his daughter) to believe that the woman is a mermaid. Score!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Ondine gets right into the story of Colin Farrell’s fisherman character, Syracuse, an interesting cat, for sure. An alcoholic who’s been on the wagon for two years, he routinely visits his priest (Stephen Rea) for “confession”, which is more about Syracuse getting things off his chest than actually confessing any sins. Syracuse’s reputation is that of the town drunk, and though he’s made strides to practicing sobriety, he can’t seem to shake the reputation. In fact, the town folk nicknamed him “Circus”, because, you know, they’re like witty and stuff. And because he’s done some pretty silly stuff like passing out drunk on tree branches. When we finally meet the mermaid/sea creature lady, (the titular Ondine), Syracuse is down on his luck and not earning enough cash with the fish he’s been catching. Once he meets Ondine, his luck and fortune seemingly changes for the better.

But for me, Syracuse’s willingness to accept this beautiful woman as some mystical creature from the sea is a little too easy. He doesn’t really question her or where she came from, he just kind of goes with it, which I guess would be fine but I wasn’t completely sold. For his young daughter, it’s a little more believable that she would easily take to the idea that her dad’s new chick is a sea creature/weirdo. She takes to the idea right away and goes to the library to research all kinds of Celtic mysticism; her imagination runs amok with the idea that this new chick could very well be everything she’s been reading about. But for Syracuse, he simply acknowledges it, accepts it and goes with the flow.

As far as the performances go, the interplay between Syracuse and the aforementioned priest (played by the brilliant Stephen Rea) is very natural and believable. Through their conversations, we learn about all of Syracuse’s faults, insecurities and how to tough it is for him to stay sober. Farrell is also very good with Ondine, his daughter and also his ex-wife. In fact, Colin Farrell is probably the best thing about the movie. I’m really liking his choice in character driven roles as of late and this is no exception. He has a very confident, quiet and brooding way he plays this character and it just works. Unfortunately, the pacing of the story is so plodding and borderline dull, that you tend to just kind of give up midway through the movie.

THE EXTRAS
Making Ondine: Your standard making of featurette. After watching the flick and seeing the making of, it kind of puts the movie in a little more perspective. Still didn't turn me though.

HDNet: A Look at Ondine: Pretty much the same, but a little flashier and a lot shorter than the previous Making Of.

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Eh, I can't exactly recommend this. While I respect the vision of director Neil Jordan in creating an interesting, almost bedtime story premise, it's slow and plodding pace completely removed me emotionally from the film and made me not really care for any of the characters. The eventual "reveal" (not a "twist" by any means) as to who and what exactly Ondine is comes way too late in the movie for my taste because by then I was shut off. However, fans of Colin Farrell will want to check this puppy out as he turns in yet another solid performance.
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12:47PM on 10/18/2010

I agree 100%

I saw it twice on ON Demand and I tend to look past the boredom and fairy tailness of it to just sit back and enjoy how watchable Farrell is...he's truly becoming one phenomenal actor.
I saw it twice on ON Demand and I tend to look past the boredom and fairy tailness of it to just sit back and enjoy how watchable Farrell is...he's truly becoming one phenomenal actor.
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