Fish Tank

2009

Drama

125
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 55,067

Synopsis


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August 12, 2019

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967.05 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
123 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.9 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
123 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 9 / 10 / 10

Right out of the water

"All my films have started with an image," says director Andrea Arnold. "It's usually quite a strong image and it seems to come from nowhere. I don't understand the image at first or what it means, but I want to know more about it so I start exploring it, try and understand it and what it means. This is how I always start writing." What does the image of a fish tank conjure up for you? On the inside longing to look out, is fifteen-year-old Mia. Trapped in a housing estate. Trapped in a single parent family. Trapped by people around her she can't respect. Trapped in herself. For being fifteen. She has her own inner world, fighting to manifest itself . Fortified by cigarettes and alcohol she can kick in the door of the empty nearby flat. A bare floor. Her CD player. Practice her moves. A better dancer than those kids on the block she just nutted. Mia is quite content to carve out her own double life, f*ck you very much! Never mind she gets caught and nearly comes to grief trying to steal a horse. And social workers don't scare her. But mom's new boyfriend – that could be a pain! A real spanner in the works. Especially when he's so annoyingly nice. Under Andrea Arnold's hand, life on this inner city concrete backwater is suddenly very alive. Banalities become beautiful. Like sunlight through cracked glass. Vibrant, gritty and riveting, but in a way that entertains powerfully. As pulsating and funny as Trainspotting but without the yuck factor. Its momentum is overpowering. We never know what is going to come out of Mia's mouth or where events will lead. Each jaw-dropping new scene surprises yet seems the result of inexorable momentum. As if that wasn't enough, the story mercifully avoids kitchen-sink drama, excessive violence, drugs, getting pregnant, grand larceny, car crashes and all the other cliché-ridden devices to which cinema-goers are usually subjected. Tightly controlled, Fish Tank attacks with a potent and thought-provoking arsenal of story-telling. Andrea Arnold proved she could do hard-hitting realism with her award-winning debut, Red Road. Here she excels her earlier efforts but still imbibes many of the verité approaches and senses of discipline that have filtered down from the Dogme and Advance Party movements. Her 'strong initial image,' or lack of subservience to more traditional methodology, maybe reminds of the devotion to experimental, avant-garde cinema taken by artists-turned-filmmakers such as Steve McQueen (Hunger) or theme-over-story technicians such as Duane Hopkins (Better Things). Michael Fassbender, who took reality to new heights as Bobby Sands in Hunger, here plays the mystifying and warmly charismatic Connor (Mum's boyfriend). Arnold didn't allow actors to read the script beforehand. They were given their scenes only a few days before filming. For the part of Mia, she chooses a complete unknown with zero experience. Arnold spotted Katie Jarvis at a train station after drawing a blank with casting agencies. "She was on one platform arguing with her boyfriend on another platform, giving him grief." However the performance is achieved, Jarvis is electrifying. If Arnold wanted a 'real' person for the role, this seventeen-year-old takes over the screen with raw adolescent power. Says Arnold, "I wanted a girl who would not have to act, could just be herself." Fish Tank will lift you out of your seat and on an unstoppable flight, ricocheting against confines of circumstance and imploding a dysfunctional family with its head of hormonal steam. Laugh, cry, hold on tight. You will need to. I could almost taste the vodka, as Mia goes through her Mum's dressing table drawers, bottle in hand. I wish all British films were this good.

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10 / 10

An exhilarating dance of liberation

The poet Rumi said, "A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn." The thorn is in full evidence in Andrea Arnold's compellingly honest second feature Fish Tank, the story of a fifteen year-old girl's struggle for self respect after having "grown up absurd" in the London projects. Fish Tank, a film that is overflowing with life, works on many levels – as a look into squalid economic and social conditions in small town Britain, as a warning to those who act impulsively and without self-control, and as a coming-of-age story that allows us to experience a genuine sense of character growth. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, the film features an astounding performance from first-time actress Katie Jarvis, a 17-year-old who was discovered by the director while having an argument with her boyfriend on an Essex train station platform. Set in a bleak housing project in a working class London suburb, fifteen-year-old Mia is an angry, isolated but vulnerable teen who lives with her boozy mom (Koerston Wareing) and little sister Tyler (an adorable Rebecca Griffiths). Mia has no friends and is dogged by a mean-spirited mother who makes Mo'Nique in Precious look like Mother Teresa. Filled with barely controlled rage, Mia seems uncertain as to whether she is looking for a fight or for sex. She goes from head-butting a rival on the playground to struggling to free a half-starved horse tied up in a junkyard while cozying up to the horse's owner Billy (Harry Treadway), a gentle 19-year-old who seems genuinely interested. Dreaming of becoming a dancer, Mia breaks into an abandoned apartment and practices her hip-hop dance routines alone to borrowed CDs of pop music including California Dreaming, the only time when she can feel good about herself. Mia's first taste of something resembling kindness happens when her mother brings home a sexy, shirtless Irish lover named Connor (Michael Fassbender) who works as a security guard Fassbender's performance oscillates between the charming and the shady and we do not know who is real and who is pretend and where it will lead. Mia has more than a passing interest in him, revealed by her deep glances and facial expressions. When Connor lends Mia his camera to film her dancing in preparation for an audition, she uses it to spy on Connor and her mom making love. One of the loveliest scenes is when Connor carries a drunken Mia from the living room and puts her to bed, gently taking off her clothes while Mia, pretending to be asleep, sneaks an occasional peak and is obviously enjoying the moment. Although Connor's interest in Mia appears innocent, from the time Mia cuts her foot on a family fishing trip and Connor gives her a piggy back ride to the car, tension gradually builds until it explodes in a seduction that is not only inappropriate but has serious consequences. Fish Tank is a strong and unpredictable film because Mia is a strong (though flawed) character who refuses to allow her miserable circumstances to control her life. Arnold uses the fierce slang of the streets, overt sexual encounters, and gritty hand-held camera-work to tell an authentic story of adolescence that in lesser hands might have recycled genre clichés, provided a falsely uplifting message, or offered a sentimentalized view of poverty. That the film opens the door long enough to provide a breath of fresh air once again tells us that life can be governed by what is possible rather than what is reasonable and Fish Tank, instead of becoming another sordid study of pathology, becomes an exhilarating dance of liberation.

Reviewed by Stampsfightclub 9 / 10 / 10

Staggering picture

Friendless and unloved Mia (Jarvis) dreams of becoming a dancer and when her mum's new boyfriend arrives on the scene, everything changes for the teenager. Fish tank is an exceptional artistic creation, based on the purity of Andrea Arnold's script and appreciative direction whilst a debuting Katie Jarvis excels as the troubled isolated teenager, and what a feature this is. British cinema is some of the most dramatic and flinching cinema in the world. From Trainspotting to This is England there are always issues of realism and points to convey and with this 2009 appraised release we see more hard drama. The opening sequence follows Mia around the streets, slurring and shouting abuse at anyone in her radar and the coarse dialogue and minimal amount of sympathy is staggering. As if you had been slapped, this will instantly startle you into realizing the type of environment and lifestyle Mia is living in. The language will give Pulp Fiction a run for its money. Added as an attempt to justify the rural scene of Britain, Arnold gets it spot on as everything flows with little adjustment required. Everything is as it should be because everything has been so carefully planned, in particular the character development which will have many shedding a tear or two. Katie Jarvis' cold and unappreciative style is spot on for the protagonist and as the film goes through hard fights with families and spending time isolated in a deserted flat, we see the emotional desire of Mia. The ambition of becoming a dancer is exceptionally well produced, owing to the fact that the background is effectively established. The hard family life Mia is living inspires her to find a way out and her dancing is her motive to break free. This really does work up a treat with twists turns, ups and downs and a staggering climax that adds extra spice to the picture. At only 15 the central character certainly has a controversial agenda set for her. From sleeping with random strangers to drinking anything dangerous, Mia seems unfazed. Seeing her younger sister drinking beer with her mother in the next room will have mouths dropping. Thanks to this straight forward no messing attitude the plot can move forward and tell the audience of what real life entails and the cultural state we are living in at the moment. Some British films go out of their way to preach, such as This is England and Brassed off and whilst that isn't a bad quality, the enriching style of this film makes it flow and add extra drama continuously. The scene setting shots are exquisite, as if made from a Skins episode without the teen angst. The scene in the car is excellent and not to forget this film boasts an exceptional soundtrack that fits the mood as well as 2007's Hallam Foe.

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