A wooden globe turns as a young woman (Rosalía) narrates “in all the seas, in all the world, there never has been a land quite like the isle of Eroda.” Located somewhere near the Irish sea, the young woman continues to narrate that it’s “shaped like a frown” and a “forgotten fishing village that has had a perpetual cloud cover it for as long as anyone can remember.”
In a bar, a fortysomething man laughs while the narrator explains “an isle where people still believe it’s bad luck to mention a pig in a fisherman’s pub.” Two fortysomething men punch him at their table. On the bridge, two young women watch a minister walk on the dock, about 6 a.m. which would alert the townspeople to “go home immediately.” At the dock, a fisherman wears a gold earring, which according to narrator, was for luck. A 10-year-old boy flies into the sky after whistling during a heavy wind. The townspeople learned to sail the sea on odd-numbered days. The ships would be struck by lightning. The townspeople never smiled. However, a baby boy was born smiling. The light from his smile blinded people.
The narrator explains that the townspeople didn’t know what to make what of him. They ran screaming from his smile. As an adult, The Boy (Harry Styles) burned umbrellas whenever he greeted people. People stayed away from him. He sat by himself near the sea and yelled into a bottle. People stared at him whenever he wore his copper astronaut mask. At the sea, he picks up some rocks, the smile gone from his face. He walks into the water and notices a fish on the rock. He throws the fish back into the water and continues to walk. The fish flops back onto the rock. Using a plastic bag, he scoops up the fish and brings it home.
He puts it in the coffee pot beside his bed and feeds it. He talks to it. Over time, he watches it grow and puts in a clear backpack. The Boy takes his fish to the mountain and shares his binoculars with him. He puts on a record and dances. The news reports that a “Jewel migration is headed for Eroda.”
The Boy pulls the the fish in a large aquarium. The fish sees the body of another fish and breaks the glass. The Boy tries to lift his fish. The townspeople stand up and help him take his fish to the sea. They say goodbye to one another. The Boy pushes him into the sea and watches him swim. People began to smile and the sun began to shine again in Eroda.
A young woman sits on the hill and paints The Boy with his fish. He opens the bottle and lets his scream guide as he sails.
The Boy couldn’t stay in Eroda any longer. He had to let go of his fish, who had been his only friend. The townspeople were asking him to hang out at the bar or talking to him at the bakery. But his heart wasn’t in the conversations. He had longed for the townspeople to talk to him for years. Now that they were, he couldn’t muster any feeling. They were sweet and hardworking. However, they weren’t his fish.
While he sails, he looks for his fish, leaping in the air and glaces into the ocean. He hopes his fish is enjoying life with his family. At his stop, he leaves his boat behind. There was nothing left for him in Eroda. He walks and walks for miles. A few people give him rides into Dublin. He signs up for social media and adds them. He shares pictures back home with his family. His family asks when he’s returning home. He tells he has found a home in Dublin and plans to stay. Every six months or so, he travels to the coast and looks for his fish. He calls out its name and waits.
The fish came back. As he was getting to leave, he turned and saw the fish put his head on the shore. The Boy rubbed his face and told him he missed him. The fish nuzzled his hand. He shows him pictures and says he has a family now. His wife is expecting a baby a few months. He promises to be back and says he hopes to see him again.
Director: Dave Meyers Year: 2019