Aug 17, 2016

Fish Tank (2009)

Fish Tank (2009) movie poster
Fish Tank is a 2009 British drama film written and directed by Andrea Arnold.  Fish Tank was well-received and won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the 2010 BAFTA for Best British Film. It was filmed in the Mardyke Estate in Havering, the town of Tilbury, and the A13, and funded by BBC Films and the UK Film Council. Katie Jarvis, who plays Mia, had no prior acting experience. She was cast for the film after one of Arnold's casting assistants saw her arguing with her boyfriend in Tilbury Town, which is the railway station featured in the film. Music features prominently in the film, particularly connected with Mia's dancing. The song she uses at her audition is "California Dreamin'", as covered by Bobby Womack (1968). 

Everything changes for 15-year-old Mia when her mum brings home a new boyfriend.

freddy and krasnaya movie review

K: Fish Tank was shot by award-winning, but unfortunately unknown to me, director Andrea Arnold. So, again, thank you to Freddy for showing me this movie and making me learn more about it. This is an extremely sad film which gives you some hope in the end. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is a completely lonely girl in her fifteens, living in a depressing gray, lower-class neighborhood in London. There are two things that make her life easier - hip-hop dancing and alcohol. The realism in the movie shows the daily life of such neighborhoods where kids drink alcohol, smoke, and swear like adults. This made me feel very sad.

Watch the director speaking after receiving the BAFTA award:

F: Second time I've seen this film, and it's now officially one of my favorite drama movies, which means I might buy the poster pretty soon. I love the way this movie is shot; love how the camera follows Mia. When she dances, it gets blurry and the camera closes on her, giving the impression that there isn't enough space or freedom. This is her life, a fish tank. Katie Jarvis' performance is amazing; she makes her character so credible, it's hard not to believe that she's from that neighborhood. Oh wait, she is! This movie gets me very emotional and I come crumbling down with Mia when she's told about the horse. Every other actor does a great job, and you gotta love pottymouth Rebeca Griffiths. "Your scary feet will scare those fish away" - favorite line from Tyler.

K: About the cast. It's perfectly chosen, and Katie Jarvis, who hasn't acted before and was suddenly heard by a casting agent while having an argument with her boyfriend, played her role amazingly and truthfully. She hasn't done much since, but I hope we'll see her playing again. Michael Fassbender is awesome as usual, playing a sweet bitter mother's boyfriend. Andrea Arnold only handed out the second part of the script after the first part was recorded. This is a great idea that probably ended up giving more realism to the whole movie.

Watch the interview with Fassbender here:

F: "Life's a Bitch" by Nas is so spot on, so nicely put in that scene. They're dancing to this laid-back and jazzy beat after all the shit that went down, and this closing scene leaves me reflecting in a melancholic mood. Andrea Arnold did an outstanding original piece of film.

K: My resume - this movie should be on every cinema fan must watch list, you definitely will find something of your own to think about and probably change something in your life. Mia was totally into dancing, and freedom came along with the sun every time she practiced. But even her favorite hobby played a cruel joke on her.

F: Watch it, comment on my blog and listen to the awesome single "Life's a Bitch":

Krasnaya Score: 95/100
Freddy's Score: 96/100

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