[Screenshot]Ondine is, I fear, less than the sum of its parts. There’s a lot here that could or should be good, thematically, since we’ve got a dying girl and a redeemed alcoholic and a possible mythological figure bouncing off of each other and it seems like a storyline that should go to excellent places. But there are two problems, one of which might be me. The part that might be me is enunciation. Everyone (but especially Colin Farrell) affects a thick Irish accent and mumbles, with the result that almost all the dialogue was completely unintelligible. If I spoke Spanish I might have been able to work with this, since for some incomprehensible reason the DVD only had Spanish subtities (I thought English subtitles or captions were a pretty standard feature on any work with a half-decent budget), but as things stood I actually missed most of the dialogue and ended up kludging the plot together from events. The other problem is that none of these plot elements actually receives any sort of dramatic fulfillment. Syracuse isn’t tempted to return to his boozing ways, and Annie doesn’t appear to be even inconvenienced by her illness, much less dying of it. And the mysterious woman from the sea, while eventually driving the plot forwards, seems to be steadily driving in into less interesting places than where it started until all the magic is drained out of the film’s mood. Maybe those elements work better with the dialogue’s assistance, but as it actually transpired on my viewing, it was more than a little disappointing.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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