I saw this programme being advertised prior to the Easter break, but, as it was on Sky and I only have freeview, I was unable to watch it. As luck would have it, I saw it in the supermarket the other night and, as there was nothing on television, I opted to buy it. I am a huge fan of Tim Roth’s and as the story appeared to have a supernatural element, I figured it was a safe bet.
I got home and settled myself down and started to watch the extras; I know I do things a little back to front from time to time. The mention of angels made me balk a little, but I gained an impression of a much darker story, so I started the movie a little perplexed as to its actual content. I was in for a welcome surprise.
Skellig is about life, death and rebirth, and the way in which a young boy, Michael, deals with the upheavals these events in his young life. First, he and his family move to a run-down house in a new area of town; second, his baby sister arrives unexpectedly and with complications; next he meets Grace, an elderly patient in the hospital; he meets a free-spirited, local girl, Mina; and, lastly, he finds Skellig in his garden shed. Michael’s life becomes chaotic and confusing as he finds himself out of place, and with little support.
Skellig is an enigmatic character, whose presence in Michael’s life adds a supernatural element to the tale. At first, only glimpses Skellig’s face and hands are seen but, as more of him in revealed, more questions are raised as to who, or what he is. Even with these doubts, Michael continues to build a relationship with his strange new friend.
I can’t say this movie has an unexpected end, but it certainly leaves the viewer with questions about the characters. The story moves along at an adequate pace, the storyline is a little different from the norm, the visuals are wonderful, somewhat seamlessly blending the everyday with the extraordinary, and the performances of the actors, particular young Bill Milner as Michael, are understated, making the world they inhabit seem more real in the face of the supernatural elements of the story.
Although aimed at children, I can see where this production would also appeal to adults. Certainly, its transported me back back to the confusion I felt as a pre-teen as to my place in the world and what was expected of me from friends, family and, well, people in general.
Well worth watching, even if I have more questions than answers.