If you were only to see one film this month, without a shadow of a doubt that movie should be The Secret of Kells. This is perfection in animation, pure fantasy in which to lose oneself. Awe-inspiring, this is a complete visual pleasure with music that feeds the ear and the soul.
Don’t let the possible trace of religion put you off, this is all about fantasy and Celtic mythology while using the medium of beautiful medieval-style religious illustration. Remember those ancient books with the swirling curlicues, the flowers and gold-leaf? Those books that were printed and illustrated all by hand with ink? This story comes alive through those drawings. Set in a medieval fortified abbey in Ireland, Brendan is a young novice who lives enthralled by the skills of the monks who illustrate books.
The story unfolds when a master illuminator accompanied by his cat, Pangur Ban, appears with a special book that is still unfinished. Brendan has to overcome his fears and break with all that he has been taught. This a great tale of fighting for what one truly believes in, with magical moments to boot. Aisling is his sidekick in this story and is completely haunting and spine-tinglingly perfect.
There are various threats both real and imagined in the form of Viking invasions and shadows that rear their ugly heads. The monsters are especially interesting, such as the “medieval borders” snake that is absolutely stunning or others that are reminiscent of Samurai Jack, only one of the best cartoons in recent years. The Secret of Kells is directed by Tomm Moore of Cartoon Saloon and what a incredibly good job they have done. From the watercolor-painted scenes, to masses of shivering butterflies, the glorious palette of colours to the lilting Celtic songs, the entire production is a dream come true.
Considering that I much prefer books to movies, The Secret of Kells has managed to achieve something that seems almost impossible. It breathes animated life into books. By using the medium of ancient illustrations, by animating these drawings that accompanied the texts, a printed story comes to life. It’s like watching the book in Narnia’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where the drawings move and the text rearranges itself according to the reader. Actually, when the movie starts, it’s like falling into a book, where anything is possible and the visual splendour carries you along for the duration. I cannot find enough words to express the beauty of this film. The best option is to go and see it for yourself. Don’t hesitate, as it won’t be around for all that long!
You might also like
|The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus This past weekend I went to see Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. I was expecting...||Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland mania has officially taken over the world! London was awash with numerous Alice...||A Single Man by Tom Ford What has to be done? What candles do I have to light to which saints? Is there any way possible to...||Black Swan Natalie Portman managed to clinch the Oscar for Best Actress with her starring role in Black Swan....|