As to the performance …
Colin’s ability to orally recite these island stories is very moving. His voice and his phrasing bring them to life. He is a true storyteller in the historic tradition of Northern Ireland.
His portrayal of this damaged boy was exquisite. He was sweet and vulnerable and filled with the magic of the world around him. Calum was beautifully delicate and fragile … an elusive, ethereal creature of the island … with a subtle wisdom … who escapes the demands of an overbearing mother by retreating into an aerie world of his own.
The physical closeness of this girl is awakening other forces within him. Forces not so easily escaped and of which he is unsure. There is nothing forced or artificial in this performance … it flows effortlessly from within, a genuine awakening into a world outside of his chosen retreat
And, about the “incident” … Nikki was in control and led him to the edge; she knows this. He is abjectly remorseful, tearful, and painfully unhappy that he may have hurt her. I must say that Colin’s performance carried with it every bit of that emotional turmoil.
The performance hints at another side of Calum. An anger that when provoked is unmanageable. The shock of overhearing the truth about Nikki overwhelms Calum with feelings of shame and betrayal. The rage shows on his face as he bursts through the door and strikes his mother. There was definitely an impact seeing Colin display such fury … such uncontrolled anger. (and it was disturbing … which hints at its authenticity.)
The weight of the revelation is left for the end … and is played with tender poignancy. The sounds of his words echoing long after the final curtain. “If you never leave me, I’ll never leave you ….”
I liked the impact Calum’s innocence had on the hardened Nikki. It was all slowly and subtly played … ebbing and flowing, like the rhythms of the island itself. A haunting film, I thought … and a performance worthy of repeated viewings.
I have struggled to describe what this young actor brings to me … the impressions he leaves. Many times over the past years … when I first met Merlin and then continuing with him on his journey, I have tried to explain how Colin’s talent affects me …
“It’s like listening to a symphony … the subtle shadings … the changes in tone … the quality of his voice, the very timbre of it … the emotion that resides in his face that brings me with him, especially on his emotional journeys.” This is especially true in “Island.”