Starring: David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson, Lisa Hannigan
Director: Tomm Moore
Running Time: 96 mins
Song Of The Sea (Amhrán na Mara) is an Irish film about Ben and his little sister Saoirse, a magical selkie, attempt to free faeries and spirits around the world by returning to their home in a lighthouse on a small island off the shore of Ireland.
There are so many modern animations with an unmatched ability to move you with their beauty, and Song Of The Sea is one of the best of all. With an elegant story and score, it’s a delightful film about spirits and faeries that all ages can enjoy, but the way in which it builds its drama heading towards an exceptional final act makes it a truly compelling watch, only furthered by its beautiful animation.
Based around Celtic folklore, the film brings a magical world to life in thrilling style with its delightful animation style. The film is entirely hand-drawn, with the appearance of a children’s storybook, but that makes every single scene beautifully warm and pleasing to watch. Whilst the film’s drama is undoubtedly impressive, the animation is consistently brilliant, providing both the storybook feel as well as some astonishing landscapes.
At the centre of our story is Ben and Saoirse, who are taken away from their home in the lighthouse to the city, and then discover they must return. There’s so much to love about this film, but one thing that I absolutely adored throughout was the way that it paints the strength of the brother-sister bond between the two. Although they’re not best friends initially, the film does an incredible job at showing how strong familial love can be, and the way that Ben and Saoirse (and their dog Cú) come together to return home is truly moving.
Along with the strength of their sibling bond, Ben and Saoirse also have to contend with a great sense of loss in this story. However, it’s not an emotionally devastating story as that would suggest, but is rather handled brilliantly to make their determination to return home in the face of their losses an uplifting and touching spectacle. It’s a theme that will strike a chord with both adults and children, and is right at the core of this film’s emotional power.
Finally, the music is the icing on the cake that makes this film a truly wonderful experience. Using soft lullaby themes throughout, Song Of The Sea is an absolute treat to listen to, reinforcing the film’s mythological origins as well as its storybook sensibilities, and will have you humming along with a huge smile on your face from start to finish.
Overall, Song Of The Sea is a simply beautiful film. Its story is heartwarming, its animation is delightful, and its score is powerful and pleasant. It’s an engrossing, emotional and uplifting watch, and it’s certainly a film that can be appreciated by absolutely any age, and that’s why it gets an 8.3 from me.