Thursday, February 2, 2012

Movie Review: The Secret of Kells


In seventh century Ireland, a boy finds that helping to illuminate (illustrate) the Book of Kells is quite an adventure. He soon becomes friends with a fairy girl and faces off against a pagan deity, even as Viking invaders threaten the land and the abbey where the boy lives.


The Secret of Kells is a unique animated film. The animation does have some weak spots, but in most scenes it is dazzling and colorful. The story is interesting and has some powerful moments. However, the spiritual side of this film is rather murky. Despite being about monks illustrating the four Gospels, I do not recall God or the Bible ever being directly alluded to, and magical beings of both good and evil have major roles.

By suppressing the spiritual significance of the Book of Kells and treating the Book as a sort of magical charm rather than the Word of God, the film is robbed of a transcendent ending, leaving confusion instead of triumph. The beautiful animation and solid story remain, but are overshadowed by the sense that something is missing. Content issues are limited to mild violence and scariness.


(c) 2012 Jonathan Garner

8 comments:

  1. Very interesting. :) I have never heard of this film. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. It's not very well known. Thank you for commenting!

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  3. Never heard of this one. Thanks for the review.

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  4. I've never heard of this, either. The stills you posted are gorgeous, but the story does sound dubious...

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    1. Thank you, Aubrey! Yes, if only the story had lived up to the animation...

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  5. This is an interesting review. :) I have heard of this, but haven't really watched it. I might give it another try soon.

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    1. Thank you, Elly! If you watch it, let me know what you think. :)

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