Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FISH TANK (2010)

Written & Directed By: Andrea Arnold
Cinematography By: Robbie Ryan
Editor: Nicholas Chaudergue

Cast: Katie Jarvis, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Griffiths

This film is one of those diamonds in the rough, That you want everyone to witness. It catches you off guard. That would also perfectly describe the lead character a girl named Mia. Who is so full of rage at everyone. She seems to only be at peace in dancing (I know it sounds like a female STEP-UP but trust me it’s deeper then that).

Her mother wears shorter skirts then she does. Her mother seems to also put her dalliances with men above her own children. She was also the same age as her daughter when she had her child and forced to grow up fast but now seems that since her kids can take care of themselves it’s her time to have a bit of fun. Her mother also seems to be a alcoholic. Then one day a savior comes to the family in the form of a man the mother brings home who actually seems to take a interest in all of them. At first Mia treats him badly suspecting him of wanting something. He eventually wins them over. He seems to be the one who is going to make things better. Her friendship with him soon develops into friendship, then obsession. Which becomes confusing when he returns her feelings.
The film then seems like it is going to cross the line into a taboo romance. Then things turn haywire as secrets are discovered. Which may lead to tragedy.

Through it all the film stays emotionally truthful. It is a coming of age tale, but not your typical one. This one seems a bit more brutal. It works as a drama though at times it feels almost like a thriller.

The film plays like a kitchen sink drama, But seems more to the point and not so interested in minimalism. The film still never presents a false note. The films throws a lot of balls up in the air. Thankfully none drop to the ground and break

Mention must be made of the actors. Katie Jarvis is a natural in her first film as the lead she captivates you as you generally begin to care about her and cringe when she makes a wrong decision. Since you know her character has good instincts. She is truly believable which since she is a newcomer is made easier as there are no other roles or films to cloud your judgement and take you out of the film. Michael Fassbender other then being a great actor must have the best agent in the world, Good natural instincts when it comes to material or is very lucky because whenever I see him in a film it is phenomenal like HUNGER and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS. Here he is mesmerizing as a character who is charismatic and even when we see his bad side we can’t fully hate.

Director Andrea Arnold is a true visionary. Who I look forward to further work from.
This film while long totally grabs you from the opening frames. It is long but the film seems to pass so quickly you never really notice. It’s one of those films where you really want to know what will happen to the characters after the end. You hold out hope for them and get a general sense they will be ok. But then again like the film. It could surprise you and the decisions could come out of nowhere and throw each of them off balance.

While not the happiest film. It gives you some kind of hope that this girl will be alright and make her way in the world.

I highly suggest the film and it is a worthy addition to your film library. See it as a gift to yourself.


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