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It's hard to really say anything negative about this movie, since these type of movies can do little wrong really. All they need is a poor struggling main character, that is a victim of circumstances and stuck in life, all set in a suburb, to create a raw and realistic drama. You at the same time could also see this a complaint really, since if you have seen one of these movies, you have basically seen all of them already.

And this movie also does add little new to the genre really. It's nothing new and also nothing too extreme. It's not as depressing really as similar type of movies, which also means that it's not as bitter and still somewhat hopeful though, which is something that I did like about this movie. It doesn't just focus on all the negative aspects and push things as far as possible, just for the dramatic effect of it. I feel that "Fish Tank" is a much more honest and sincere movie. A true random slice of life, that also can be seen as a coming of age movie.

And like is custom for these sort of movies, it features mostly non-professional actors in them, in order to create an authentic atmosphere and feeling to the story. Sometimes this really works out well for a movie, while at others it can also work against the movie. I feel that in this case it didn't always worked out too well. Especially all of the young actresses (Katie Jarvis included) are lacking in their performances at times.

The story remains good and interesting enough to keep watching. Even though the movie offers nothing new the story still remains unpredictable enough. It of course all relies heavily- and is very dependent of its characters, which are compelling enough ones. Even though all characters by all rights shouldn't be likable ones. They are all lying, foul mouthed, lying, stealing, drinking characters but you can't really blame them for being that way, since they are just stuck at life and really don't know how to move forward. A sad subject of course but all too real for millions of people, who truly live in these sort of circumstances. It's not a movie that is providing any solutions or answers to these problems but it's simply showing the things as they are.

It obviously really helps the movie that it's such a well made one. Director Andrea Arnold gives the movie a great raw and realistic looking visual style, that luckily doesn't come across as pretentious. It doesn't try to be or look like an independent or art house type of movie. With this I mean that the visual style and camera-work doesn't ever distract from the story, which unfortunately isn't just always the case with all of these modern genre movies.

It's one of those movies you can so easily do without but when you do decide to see it, you most likely won't regret it afterward.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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