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Ondine (Blu-ray Review)

14 Sep, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 9/21/10
Box Office $0.5 million
$26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violence, sensuality and brief strong language.
Stars Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Stephen Rea, Alison Barry.

Despite a turn in notoriety that included stints in rehab, a sex tape, a female stalker and an awkward date with Britney Spears, among other tabloid fodder, Colin Farrell remains an engaging actor.

With independent film Ondine, Farrell successfully evokes the everyman persona that catapulted him to critical acclaim in 2000’s Tigerland, and more recently in films such as In Bruges and Pride and Glory.

Farrell plays a divorced, recovering alcoholic, small-town Irish fisherman named Syracuse, who one day discovers a mysterious, nearly drowned, beautiful young woman (endearing Alicja Bachleda) in his fishing nets.

After being revived, Ondine (appropriately named after a legendary German water nymph) wants to remain in hiding — no small task for such an alluring, slightly eccentric presence.

Syracuse (called “circus” by locals for his dim luck) then incorporates her in nightly fairy tales to his ill young daughter Annie (Alison Barry), who is battling kidney disease. With precocious curiosity, Annie believes Ondine to be a selkie, a mythical sea creature that can bring good luck. Or not.

Selkie or not, Ondine is certainly sexy — a reality director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Mona Lisa) underscores effectively in frames showcasing her bare legs, distant eyes, undressing or emerging dripping wet from the soulful water.

If nothing else, the film may leave some viewers longing to relocate to the nearest fishing village to deploy their own imaginary nets — a fantasy that, unfortunately, even Ondine proves is illusory.

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