• Mckenzie Dow


I mean the movie, not the place. Though I imagine the place is rather cool too.

Saoirse Ronan on Brooklyn movie poster. Photo: © 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Every once in a while, Hollywood releases a film that hits you hard at a time where you really need it, and this recently happened to me. As I was returning home from my apartment hunting in Dublin a few weeks back, I decided to watch the movie Brooklyn (directed by John Crowley, 2015) featuring Saoirse Ronan while on the plane. Throughout the film, I teared up more than once, simply from how I could relate to every single situation and peril the main character, Eilis, experienced.

(**Spoiler Alert**)

For example, her storyline alone drew me into the film, because she experiences every little thing I am going to be experiencing, except in an opposite fashion as she is emigrating from Ireland rather than to it. Throughout the film, she experiences self-doubt, homesickness, grief over the loss of a loved one, romance, and new friendships.

Eilis loses her sister, and this complicates her time in America and forces her to return home. Her despair while in a different country is something I related to a lot. The first time I moved to Ireland, I was also grieving deeply for a sudden loss in my family. It hit me hard and complicated my emotions and experiences in Dublin.

Eilis also finds love in America and her experiences in her flourishing relationship are something I also related to. For her it was unexpected and wonderful, and for me it was the same. (I won't dive too deeply into that one, bit too cheesy for me).

Homesickness is also a large part of Eilis' experiences in America. Though the last time I was in Dublin was only three months of a stay, this next big move is much longer than that, and her tears from every letter her sister Rose wrote her are something I will probably experience after many FaceTime sessions with my youngest brother. It is hard being away from your family and grappling with the mixed feelings is difficult. How do you leave home when it is heartbreaking to do so? Is it selfish? Is it worth it? A big move far away complicates the idea of what it means to leave home.

I think what I like best about this film is the ending. Eilis finds her way, and she is happy. Watching this film makes me feel better about every single life decision I have made about moving, applying to UCD, and being in a long-distance relationship with a goofy Irish guy. This film makes me feel like I am going to be okay.

So yes, I highly recommend.

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