It s clear through the first scenes of Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle that the relationship between the two main characters Aonhgas and his grandfather have deteriorated over the years.
Tension tears through the silence as Aonhgas visits his dying grandfather after what seems to be a long absence. The few words the two exchange at the hospital room don t explain why they have grown apart.
Before boredom seeps into the initially slow-paced film, the camera goes back to the time when 9-year-old Aonhgas learnt that both his parents had died in a mountain climbing accident.
But just before he heard the news, he was listening to one of his grandfather s many engaging stories. In a Shakespeare-like tragedy, the fairytale follows a young man who has to climb the inaccessible mountain pinnacle (a bare-rock peak over the mountain s peak) to get the one flower that could save his dying beloved.
When he finally finds the flower after years of searching, he tries one of the petals before passing it to her. But one second before the petal reaches her lips, she dies, leaving the man with the realization that the flower petal had strengthened his heart and elongated his life 10 times.
Aonhgas suspects his grandfather is the 1,000-year-old hero of the fairytale. This uncertainty about the truth in his grandfather s stories moves to the viewers, who are kept in an entertaining trance between Aonhgas coming-of-age reality and the grandfather s stories about magic, romance, friendship, the concept of home and vengeance.
The scenes showing the stories seem to be made by different filmmakers, each showing a different theme and approach – from fairytale-like, to slapstick comedy to action dramas. As they span the beautiful Scottish natural scenery and the area s rich history of Gaelic legends, the stories reflect, in a way, the emotions young Aonhgas experiences.
And in doing so, the film further blurs the line between reality and fiction, building up the suspense along the plot of this light-hearted drama about family relationships. It follows on the footsteps of films like Tim Burton s Big Fish but not quite. While the American movie was about giving a different, more appealing perspective to a boring life, the Scottish is about giving a young boy the clues he needs to navigate his way through life.
The film, competing for the Cairo festival s prizes, keeps viewers to the very end wondering how true its tagline is: The truth is in the story.