Monday, 3 April 2017

Film Review | Ireland | The Secret Of Kells

The 2009 film The Secret Of Kells is directed by Tomm Moore, tells the story of Brendan, a young boy who lives within the confines of his villages walls, a village dictated by his uncle Cellach. The tale follows Brendan as he learns of mystical tales from the visiting Brother Aidan, a man skilled in the art of calligraphy and script writing, and ventures into the surrounding forest in search of materials and items for his new found elder companion, meeting magical company along the way.

Fig 1: Screenshot, The Secret Of Kells

The story is a complete physical embodiment of Ireland as a country and the tales that surround the culture and its religions, an embodiment that is definitely mirrored in the films physical style and celtic aesthetic. This flat, celtic and almost personal style manages to give the film a constant 'Irish' look that keeps the story's roots on display even in times where its origins aren't so apparent. When compared to other films that have emerged from Ireland, The Secret Of Kells has certainly managed to stand out from its piers by using this specific and individual style, giving the film an aesthetic that keeps the audience from forgetting it.

Fig 2: Screenshot, The Secret Of Kells

In terms of other films, director Tomm Moore has seemed to always place this individual style into his projects, with follow up film Song Of The Sea most certainly making use of this technique, again adding a specific tone to the piece that ensures that viewers remember not only the film, but also the director himself.

As the story progress' in The Secret Of Kells, young Brendan continues to carry out dangerous tasks for his new found mentor Aidan despite warnings and discipline from his uncle Cellach, meeting a mystical friend by the name of Aisling as he goes. As Brendan continues to learn more about the magic that exists outside of the confines of his village walls, he simultaneously gathers more information concerning the mysterious book of Kells, a book that supposedly punishes any sinners who look upon any of the pages and is filled with imaginative illuminations that are a wonder to behold. As time progress' and it takes its toll on the elder characters who surround Brendan, the hero of the story takes it upon himself to finish the pages in the wondrous book, and ultimately deliver it to his weakened uncle in order to finish his quest. This tale not only depicts a classic Irish story, educating viewers along the way, but also tells a basic story of adventure and friendship that any audience could appreciate, teaching the value of life experiences and friendship.

Fig 3: Screenshot, The Secret Of Kells

In terms of achieving the supposed goals that the film set out to achieve, it would definitely seem that they were successful, delivering a charming story that illustrates ideas surrounding growing old, friendship and dedication, themes that any audience could appreciate.         

Illustration List

Fig 1: Movie Poster, The Secret Of Kells,, Accessed on: 30.03.17

Fig 2: Screenshot, The Secret Of Kells,, Accessed on: 30.03.17   

Fig 3: Screenshot, The Secret Of Kells,, Accessed on: 30.03.17 

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