BROOKLYN (2015) Review
Directed by John Crowley
Set in the 1950s, Brooklyn is directed by John Crowley with the most profound way of telling a love story. It stars Saoirse Ronan who’s known for her works in City of Ember and Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lovely Bones. The film tells the story of Eillis Lacey, a daughter of two living in a small town in Southeast Ireland named Enniscorthy. A simple and go-with-the-flow lady who works at a shop with a despicable boss Miss Kelly played by Brid Brennan which you can easily despise as she makes Eillis’ life harder than it is.
But this is a love story, and though there are obstacles, the main attraction here is Eillis and the love of her life, or in this story the two loves of her life. That’s where the American trip opens Eillis’ life, her old sister Rose has arranged a job for her to the US to have a better path in career and in life. Not that Ireland doesn’t give her that already, it’s just everything seems plain at home, even with family.
While on her trip to Brooklyn via ship, she experiences seasickness and food poisoning, luckily her bunkmate is a pro in traveling, she helped her from feeling better to making her look like not a first timer in America. But like all other overseas worker who are far from their family, their home and friends, Ellis’ first days are sad and trying to fit in in another part of the world is weird and she’s not impressive at her job at the department store for being shy and feeling homesickness from the letters she have been reading from her sister. But Father Flood who arranged her accommodation and job came to the rescue and enrolled her to bookkeeping classes at night so that she won’t have too much spare time alone, thinking. And thankfully, there are a lot of Irish people in Brooklyn. It’s like a community that has a weekly gathering for food, chat and dance, where he meets the cute Tony played by Emory Cohen.
Tony, though not an Irish attends the gathering because he admits to Eillis that he digs Irish women. They begin to meet often after dance, then he starts to walk to home with her after classes. The two have this enormous amount of chemistry, you see the natural way a person looks when he or she is in love. That is one of the best parts of the film, Cohen and Rohan engages the audience with their charm and ability to make the audience believe in love, in romance. The two get along very well in a fantasy love story which looks almost perfect where both sides, Eillis introduced Tony to the residents where she lives and Tony introduced Eillis to his family. Both sides agreed that they were perfect for each other but life can’t always be perfect.
While at work, Eillis was visited by Father Floor, delivering her the saddest new. Her sister Rose just died from some illness. Eillis’ heart crushed, uncertain what to do about it but a telephone with her mother sounding sad and admitting that she’s struggling to cope made Eillis decide to go back home to Ireland. But before that, Eillis and Tony agreed to get married privately, the two entered a civil marriage secretly before Eillis leaves with Tony afraid of her wife not coming back.
At first scared and feels like something missing, Eillis easily moved forward with her life in Ireland. Though she promises to be back in Brooklyn after her best friend gets married, she met Jim played by Domhnall Gleeson, who came from a rich family and is typically the ideal man to marry. But none of them knew that Eillis was married, so wanting her to stay, almost everybody she knew seems conspired to make Ireland a more ideal place to live in. Eillis and Jim started to get closer, she got her sister Rose’s old job temporarily while she’s there and everything looks perfect, at home where she grew up. Tony still sends letters even though Eillis only replied to one, heartbreakingly because Eillis haven’t opened the letters Tony sends her. Afraid of remembering the warmth of Tony’s presence, afraid of admitting that she’s liking her stay in Ireland and Jim.
Not everyone in Ireland wants to make Eillis happy at home though. Miss Kelly, her former boss just teased her of the information she got involving Eillis and Tony in a secret wedding. Of course, she’s baffled at her revelation but she refused to stoop down her level. So Ellis confessed to her mother about her marriage and leave Ireland and return to her husband.
Brooklyn is a like a classic romance story told in an engaging and fairy tale-like way. You’ll either get hopeful of having romance in life or jealous of the love Eillis and Tony has. It’s honest, well-written and directed and most of all, it’s undeniably charming and true to its characters emotions. Eillis and Tony’s story is timeless and Ronan and Cohen is remarkably delightful to watch.
It’s probably one of the most romantic films I’ve seen for a very long time. And it does not need a third party with a gun or a dark agenda, or the leading lady being saved by his knight in shining armor. It’s just a love story tested by time and distance, a love story that will grow on you for a very long time.
4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Brooklyn” is now showing exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas from 20th Century Fox, locally distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Rated PG by the MTRCB. Join the discussion by using the hashtag #BrooklynMoviePH