Thursday, August 17, 2006

Little Fish - Lacklustre Film

Got to the cinema last night. Decided to see Little Fish since it would be closing the soonest. Big mistake.

The film is set against a backdrop of drug abuse and the mess that it brings to people’s lives and families. Having kicked the drug habit given to her by her father, Tracy (Cate Blanchett) has been working in a video store in the Little Saigon area of Sydney. Yet her debts and history are preventing her from getting a loan from any bank to finance an extension to the business.

Her junkie father Lionel is struggling to go cold turkey after his dealer (who was also his gay boyfriend) retires. Her old boyfriend Jonny has returned to town from Vancouver (now claiming to be a stockbroker). Her brother Ray (whose amputation after a drug-related car crash) still deals - selling drugs in the shape of fish (giving the film its title).

Desperate for money, security and love, Tracy’s life starts to spiral down the plughole. She steals $8000 from the shop to fund a drug deal to quickly raise cash for the business extension.

There’s a lot of clever stuff going on the film. Tracy’s warmest memories are of being on the beach as a child. She swims in the local pool everyday - finding the water a soothing balm in her troubled world. The film’s final scenes return to the beach - yet fail to properly execute or explain the supposedly redemptive moment.

If it was a book, this film wouldn’t be a page turner. It’s also a film lacking laughs. Cate Blanchett pulling a funny face in a restaurant is about the only humorous moment in two hours.

One word summary: disappointing.

It’s a lacklustre story, with lacklustre acting from most of the cast except Cate. The best moment was the trailer for A Scanner Darkly which looks like a novel film, using rotoscoping to give the live action an animated feel. Only gravity and the ticket price kept me in my seat to the end.

1 comment:

CW said...

I generally agree with you on this. The film was rather tedious and tended to drag on for longer than was necessary, with a confused plot and an inconclusive ending. The recurring scenes of Blanchett submerged in the pool as some sort of symbolic imagery got embarassing aftr a while - as I've mentioned in my own review: