Though a flawed piece of cinema, The Sea marks a quite promising debut for Brown, as a film that certainly stays with you long after the credits roll.
| Original Score: 3/5
We are always striving for inner worlds that, expressed fully on the page, remain stubbornly inaccessible to the camera.
The film, evocatively shot by John Conroy and with a haunting score by Andrew Hewitt, moves gracefully between periods in its protagonist's life and captures his sense of yearning and loss.
Shot with some verve on the coast of south east Ireland, it's a handsome and painstaking effort, though rarely one which breathes independently as a film.
Nobly acted and always reaching for a dreamlike resonance, The Sea is an adaptation of John Banville's Man Booker Prize-winning novel - he also wrote the screenplay.
The film can't match the novel's elegant, startlingly excellent Booker-Prize-winning writing, but the cast is first-class.
[Hinds] carries it easily, but it's impossible to escape the sense that Banville's work is best experienced on paper.
This good, middlebrow adaptation ... sacrifices much of the novel's structural intricacy for Masterpiece-style emotional accessibility.
Ciarán Hinds engages in some pointlessly dour Irish brooding at the beach.
What we have is a 90-minute mood piece, then, which is all well and good. But 90 minutes is still a long time to be caught in a depressive undertow.
A lugubriously literary affair.
| Original Score: 2/5
Stick with the book.
The characters do a lot of crying; viewers are more likely to giggle.
Despite Ciarán Hinds' best efforts, The Sea is a dull-as-dishwater melodrama.
John Banville reduces his Booker prizewinner to jumbled pound-shop Proustisms.
It's the sort of thing that can play out well in prose, but ends up being dreadfully dull on film.