Saturday, September 17, 2016

Review of 'Brooklyn'

A gentle, romantic, period drama about immigration and emigration. Kind sweet Eilis doesn't much like the small-minded small town in early 1950s Ireland where she lives, and her kind sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York. Apart from being sick on the boat, and a certain amount of teasing from her new boarding-house friends - and not immediately taking to her job as a salesgirl in a department store - everything goes pretty well. She studies at night school and goes to local dances. She misses home a bit, but soon she find a nice Italian boy who is kind and gentle. She loves his so  they get quietly married but tell no-one.

And then the kind sister dies, and she goes back to Ireland for the funeral, and sort of doesn't get round to telling anyone about the husband back home, or answering the husband's letters. And suddenly the little town doesn't seem so bad any more, and she gets a temporary job helping out  at a factory with her newly-learned book-keeping skills, and she meets a nice local boy who she doesn't mean to lead on, but she does...

And this is the only bit of dramatic tension in the film, and it is achieved by making Eilis behave entirely out of character. She's not been anything like this at all before, and it's only the nice music and the beautiful shorts (including close-ups of her open but conflicted face) that make it at all plausible. And it's not very plausible.

It's all resolved more or less happily, with a touch of poignancy about the life she leaves behind.

Netflix via Chromecast.

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