The film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel, Brooklyn, offers a fresh insight into the personal effect of Irish emigration to the USA. Brooklyn is a beautiful film, with a combination of incredibly talented established and up-and-coming actors.
Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis Lacey, a young girl from the small Irish town of Enniscorthy where she works part-time in a shop. The town offers little in the way of employment for Eilis, and with this in mind, her older sister, Rose (Fiona Glascott), arranges for her to go to the USA and work under the benevolent eye of Father Flood (Jim Broadbent) and boarding house owner, Mrs Kehoe (Julie Walters).
"The chemistry between Eilis and Tony is just perfect, an old-time romance that leaves you wanting more"
This film explores Eilis coming to terms with her new life in New York and, though at first she is very homesick, she starts to move beyond this, mostly due to love-interest Tony Fiorello (Emory Cohen). The chemistry between Eilis and Tony is just perfect, an old-time romance that leaves you wanting more. I won’t lie, I wish I could have something as adorable as that.
However, Eilis still misses Ireland, and this, I can completely understand. I moved from a tiny village to Newcastle, and then to Europe for a year on my YA, and Ronan captures the same feelings that I had myself. You make a new life for yourself somewhere else and the idea of going ‘home’ is always there, but when you finally go back, you just don’t fit the way you used to. Yes, you can live there, but your life, your ambitions and what you want have changed. ‘Home’ itself has changed. This is shown through a Gaelic song sung by an Irish immigrant in the film, it’s so hauntingly beautiful and seems to reflect the feelings of Irish immigrants in New York, that there’s no going home.
And Brooklyn manages sum up all those feelings and show that though it seems hard, there is always hope for the future.
More like this: How I Live Now (2012)