Friday, 4 December 2009
A SHINE OF RAINBOWS REVIEW
From the opening scenes where Thomas (John Bell) had his crayons broken by school bullies, you knew he wasn’t going to have an easy time of things in the stunning new film A shine of Rainbows, shot locally in Inishowen.
Tomas is a frail, shy eight-year-old boy who has been living a solitary life in a drab orphanage, sad, friendless and alone. Then a joyous burst of colour comes into his world in the form of Maire O'Donnell (Connie Nielson), whose smile and spirit light up the darkest room and Tomas's heart. Tomas is soon on a boat, full of Inishowen extras, sailing to wind-swept Corrie Island (or as we know it Malin Head), where he meets Alec, her reticent husband who cannot hide his disappointment with the boy. What follows is a depiction of childhood shyness and insecurity. Thomas has lacked a reliable male role model all through his life, which leads him to have a fear of men and especially pipe smoking silent men like Alec. This doesn’t help Thomas’s already intense stammer as he attempts to communicate with the new authority figure in his life.
Maire introduces Tomas to the wonders of his new world and this is where the glorious Inishowen scenery comes alive on the screen. She shares with him the secret of the seals, the mystery of the stone giant and shows him that you can find magic anywhere- if you really look.
In this rugged and enchanting world that Director Vic Sarin portrays through his lens, Tomas thrives. He befriends a pair of island children and rescues an orphan seal pup that join him on his journey of self-discovery. Slowly, Alec too begins to see in Tomas what Maire always has.
Tragedy is never far away though and it won’t be long before you are reaching for your hankies. At some points the film is unrelenting and truly heartbreaking, but all the more memorable for it. The films intentionally slow pace sets the scene extremely well about an uncertain boy maintaining hope and believing, against all odds by overcoming inner-obstacles.
The family attraction for the film mixed with our glorious local scenery and a fine collaboration between the Henry Girls and musician Keith Power who do the musical score for the film, makes it a wonderful cinematic experience. What we have here is a thoughtful family film that doesn’t cop out on harsh realities, giving a little something to old and young viewers alike. The award winning film will be on general release in spring 2010.
Read about the first screening in Belfast
More Pics from the Premiers in Buncrana
More pics from the Premiers in Buncrana