Fish Tank

One reviewer got up and left, three quarters into the film Fish Tank. It was right after the possibly questionable sex scene, and I just wonder if he was disgusted, or whether he’d seen what he came for, or maybe he just had a meeting to go to?

The beginning of the film was depressing enough, but it quickly became clear that Fish Tank is a pretty good film. It’s very well done in fact, but on a subject I don’t personally care for. A comment on another blog about something totally different made me see that excellent as pure realism is, a little extra is needed to make it perfect.

Fish Tank doesn’t quite have that extra, but it is still a film well worth seeing. It’s very ‘ordinary’, and it’s spot on for describing life today, so will make a suitable contribution to any time capsules being packed round about now.

Set in Essex, it’s about teenager Mia who is excluded from school and who drifts about, dreaming of becoming a dancer. Her Mum brings home a lover, and he’s so transparent, except to Mia and her Mum and little sister, but he does introduce a little excitement into their lives.

Mia is both brave and foolhardy in trying to liberate a horse she finds, and in sending a tape in to audition for a dancing job. It’s no better than we think it will be, but at least Mia grows and learns a few things on the way.

I’ve read some predictable articles about Katie Jarvis who plays Mia, but there is no point in getting all sensation seeking here. It’s good that they used non-professionals in Fish Tank. It makes the film feel real and there is none of Eastenders about it.

Go and see it! Starts at Cornerhouse today.


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