Even though I’ve never been an avid follower of Colin Farrell’s career, I wouldn’t have pegged him for the fantasy movie type. Most actors who don’t already have a career steeped in this sort of lighter fare usually go the family-friendly route when they want to create something their own children can watch. So if only 10 percent of the rumors about Farrell’s personal life are true, you can understand my curiosity as to what drew him to his role in “Ondine.”
A bit darker than most American fantasy movies, “Ondine” is a sort of Irish fairy tale that blends fantastical elements with reality. Farrell is a fisherman named Syracuse who wants to make sure everyone knows just how Irish he is, so is lays the accent on with a putty knife. One day while out at sea a mysterious woman called Ondine (meaning “came from the water”) is pulled in with his fishing nets, so the natural thing for Syracuse to do is bring her home with him and steal some ladies clothes for her to wear.
Syracuse’s wheelchair-bound daughter, Annie, is fascinated by Ondine, and seems to know all about these magical creatures that come from the sea. She tells her father that Ondine can stay on land for seven years, unless she has a husband from the sea who takes her back. And apparently there is a mysterious man looking for Ondine, which will only cause problems for the blossoming romance between her and Syracuse.
For those who like their fantasies a bit less juvenile, “Ondine” may be what you’re looking for, with its PG-13 rating and sensual scenes between Syracuse and his water lady. I just hope that there’s a bit more to Ondine herself than coming from the water and bewitching those around her, because disguising what is merely a tortured love story as a fantasy movie is pretty sneaky, even by movie studio standards. And no amount of Colin Farrell hair wafting in the breeze will make up for it.
Also starring Stephen Rea, Alicja Bachleda and Tony Curran, “Ondine” has played at several film festivals and will be a part of the Tribeca Film Festival later in April. She will land on more shores on June 4.
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