Despite being deeply heart-rending, Irish films are usually true gems and ‘Brooklyn’ is no exception at all. There’s nothing but beauty in this story: Saoirse Ronan incarnates it in every single thing she does. By portraying Eilis, our protagonist, Ronan has proved that ‘Brooklyn’ is much more than a journey from Ireland to the most Irish part of New York City.
In fact, there’s more than one journey in ‘Brooklyn’: it’s kind of a (weepy) fairytale in which a young girl blooms into a beautiful, brave and independent young woman. However, despite becoming stronger, Eilis will always be the kind, highly intelligent and quiet girl that left Ireland encouraged by her sister Rose (played by Fiona Glascott) just because she wanted Eilis to ‘have a future’.
Once in New York, life changes completely for Eilis: she doesn’t have time to get bored with her odd landlady Ms Kehoe (played by a brilliant Julie Walters), she gets involved in the church of the kind Father Flood (played by Jim Broadbent) and she meets the sweet Tony Fiorello (played by Emory Cohen), who ends up becoming her boyfriend. Eilis’ life changes one again, as she needs to go back to her native Enniscorthy, County Wexford.
The struggle to go back to the States is her next combat, but this time, everyone turns their heads whenever she walks down the streets. ‘Brooklyn’ is also a film in which the power of decision is a factor of importance: Eilis will have to choose between two lives, two places and two men; she will also meet Jim Farrell (played by Domhnall Gleeson) who makes her aware that there are other things that she’d probably miss.
With all the great mess, there’s an ingredient that could not be missed at all: emotion. And that’s why ‘Brooklyn’ is a real fairytale, Eilis is often treated like a princess: everything is about her. That’s why Ronan’s expressions are so vital, because everything seems to happen just to ruin her or cheer her up. However, it’s easy to be carried away by that touching tenderness; everything will touch your nerve, including Iarla Ó Lionáird’s angelical voice.
For some, ‘Brooklyn’ might seem the typical story of a girl experiencing life abroad, but in fact, it’s a drama about life. Well, it was always going to be deep, what could be expected from a novel by Colm Tóibín. This is not only a brilliant adaptation, it’s also a chance to rethink what really matters in life. And that is shown with a delicately detailed story, the story of a woman you’ll end up falling in love with. Really, this ‘fairytale’couldn’t be better. ‘Brooklyn’ is the perfect story for those who are in the need for a good cry. Make sure to have tissues at hand!