Movie Review: Ondine

Ondine– ***
Directed by Neil Jordan
Starring Collin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Alison Barry
Release date: June 5, 2010

A wearisome fisherman just happens to come across a lady in the water by way of his fishing net, and no, this is not a remake of the M. Night Shyamalan film Lady in the Water. Neil Jordan directs Ondine as if he is trying to perceive a bygone vision, almost as if he is harkening back to a great Greek mythology for his framework. Perhaps he is, and that is what makes his newest film resonate emotionally. The first hour convulses magnificently with a unique and innocent idyllic romance mixed with a beautiful bombardment of lyrical imagery. While the latter part of the film plays out rambunctiously, offering up a series of important events that cascade abruptly without us fully realizing what has occurred.

Jordan weds both fantastical and realistic elements to create a celebrant vision of a man who is still contaminated by his unfruitful and impure past. His name is Syracuse (Collin Farrell in a subdued performance in which he still maintains his effortless charisma), and he seems to be immune to luck but then has his senses enlightened by his discovery of this mysterious woman who says her name is Ondine (Alicja Bachleda). He has reservations about her — can she possibly be a mermaid? She carries with her the ability to leave an indelible mark on Syracuse, but the platform of her standing, her existence, is accompanied by intense ambiguity.

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