The magic of folklore forms the basis of this Irish tale by writer-director John Sayles. Adapted from the book Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry, the 1940s story is told from the point-of-view of Fiona (Jeni Courtney), a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in an Irish fishing town. Her grandfather weaves grand stories about the family's evacuation from their home on the tiny island of Roan Inish and about his great-great grandfather, who once cheated death at the hands of the unforgiving sea. As she meets other villagers, Fiona hears even more personal stories about an uncle who married a beautiful, part-human/ part-seal and about how the sea stole her baby brother during the departure from Roan Inish. Later, Fiona believes that she has found Jamie romping in the grass on Roan Inish, and she must convince the family of her vision. While Roan Inish has the feel of a family film, it shares with other Sayles works a character who learns history through storytelling, such as Sam Deeds in Lone Star (1996) and Dr. Fuentes in Men with Guns (1997). Sayles builds cohesive stories from multiple voices, showing the importance of oral history and indicating that learning the past can alter the future.
Having given up some time ago on Hollywood movies, I went in search of entertainment elsewhere. Secret Reunion is one of those movies that remind me that I have made the right choice. This movie has all it takes to be a big box office hit. The action sequences are done very well, the comic parts have the necessary taste and, most important of all, being also a political movie with a touchy subject, it never goes overboard with political comments and has it's strong point in character development department. This was made possible with excellent choice of actors. Kang-ho Song is perfect for this role. Those that have seen him in Memories of Murder or The Host, just to name a few, will know what I'm talking about. I only saw Dong-won Kang in Woochi, which is also a very entertaining movie, and I was satisfied with his performance in both movies, even though the roles were completely different. Of course you will run into some pathetic scenes, but those are typical for high budget movies and this one is no different. The good thing is that it's not over the top pathetic, like nowadays Hollywood movies.