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.”



9 comments on “Performance

  1. AwenFound says:

    When I first heard about this film, I did not want to see it. However, I decided to watch it the other night on youtube and it was a very dark picture so I wasn’t able to appreciate the scenery on the island. Still, I was caught up in the story and Colin’s performance. Received the Netflix DVD today and now that I can see it better, I enjoyed it even more.

    There are many excellent actors out there who have moments of brilliance. For Colin, in this film, every moment is brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • couldn’t agree more. Calum is a treasure. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jill, I am so enjoying your comments and am thrilled to share these moments with someone who understands. Thank you. Suntse


      • AwenFound says:

        Thank you. I am thrilled to have found this blog. I wasn’t kidding when I said I had this kind of strange energy that I had no idea what to do with. It was coming out in some rather giddy and slightly frenetic conversations that I had to explain away to some of my friends. I now know that it was just the excitement of finding Colin and not being able to share this, so I was bouncing around from subject to subject when I really just wanted to talk about Colin. Now, that I have found that outlet, that energy is dissipating.

        Back to the theme of this thread: I think Colin did a great job at making us realize throughout that Callum could never leave the island. I’m sure this has been mentioned, but he and the island were almost one. Everything that was special about him was created by the island and its stories. He protected the treasures that came from the island and perhaps at some point Nikki became one of those treasures.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You might enjoy reading the book. It is not a long novel and very interesting, at the end focusing on different points from a viewer standing back as an interested observer of the events. In terms of the story line it concludes with Susan and Calum living on the Island in their mother’s house, being there for each other as brother and sister at last.


    • AwenFound says:

      I might read it. I had heard that Callum is an angrier character in the book. Next in line is “Testament of Youth.” I will watch that this weekend.


      • I did not find him to be angrier. The author’s description of Calum, though, is not attractive.
        Because I saw the film first … I only envisioned Colin while reading it. I thought the film was very true to the story and the characters. If you are concerned about descriptions being accurate, be prepared. Phyllis is depicted as quite short in the novel… Janet McTeer is anything but short! However, we need a tall mother for a tall son. 🙂

        The book is quite clear about the ‘incident’. This was NOT forced sex or rape as another blogger has said more than once. The film purposely left the outcome of this event questionable, leaving open the notion of incest. And with this thought lingering, there were more than a few that believed the line from the fairy tale, “If you never leave me, I’ll never leave you,” was confirmation that the two continued in an incestual relationship. RUBBISH !!
        I felt, even from the film’s version, that there was no consummation. So, I bought the novel to confirm my opinion and settle a small disagreement with a friend. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. AwenFound says:

    I look forward to reading it. I do like how following Colin’s career does open all sorts of doors to literature, music, history and films that I might not have experienced otherwise.


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