FISH TANK Add To My Top 10
Well Made, But Abhorrent Pedophilia
Release Date: January 15, 2010
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 122 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films
Director: Andrea Arnold
Producer: Kees Kasander and Nick Laws
Writer: Andrea Arnold
Address Comments To:Jonathan Sehring, President
IFC Films/IFC Entertainment
Joshua Sapan, President/CEO
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
(Independent Film Channel/IFC Films/IFC First Take/AMC/WE)
11 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 324-8500
When mom’s boyfriend Conner arrives, Mia is attracted to him and responds to his attention. At first, Conner actually acts like a normal Dad, though there is a sexual tension underneath the surface. When Mia gets drunk with a teenage boy she recently met, Conner seems jealous of the teenage boy. Then, Conner seduces Mia, and she willingly gets involved with him sexually. Abruptly, however, Conner suddenly leaves.
Mia tracks him down and breaks into his house. She discovers on a video that he has a wife and young daughter. In anger, shock, and confusion, Mia kidnaps the young daughter. She then takes her into the woods, to do what we don’t know; and, most probably, Mia doesn’t know either. The young girl falls into a river and nearly drowns, but Mia saves her and returns her to the family.
In the end, Mia leaves home with the teenage boy in hopes of finding a better life.
FISH TANK is compelling filmmaking with brilliant storytelling, direction, and acting, which is mostly by first time actors. Katie Jarvis is Mia and portrays her with raw emotion and a vulnerability usually reserved for only seasoned actresses. Michael Fassbender is brilliant as the conflicted man controlled by his libido. The script is tight, though long, but it has great characters.
The difficulty with the movie, however, is that it is totally immoral. The movie helps viewers understand Mia, see her lousy life, and figure out why she might be attracted to Conner, but they will hate to see her seduced by him. Then, Mia goes and kidnaps Conner’s daughter, and all sympathy for her gets lost. Thus, the only character viewers could care about, even if out of pity, becomes profane.
As Mia and her boyfriend drive away, the director cuts to a balloon flying away, above the city. This is to show how Mia is now free of her circumstances. Yet, while she may be free of her circumstances, she is still the same old nixed-up teenager, only now in a different city.
FISH TANK has a lot of graphic, explicit content. It contains a scene of Mia and Conner that shows their sex act very graphically. For this rather long scene alone, this movie becomes abhorrent. Adding to that disgusting situation, FISH TANK has plenty of strong foul and vulgar language, much of it coming from the teenagers and younger sister. The movie also contains drinking by teenagers and adults, and smoking by children, teenagers, and adults. Finally, there is one brief shot of upper female nudity and plenty of other sexual situations.
FISH TANK is part of a disturbing, despicable trend in the movie industry sexualizing underage teenagers and showing pedophilia. No wonder America has so many public school teachers and administrators arrested for sexually abusing the children of the parents who help pay their salaries!
FISH TANK is compelling filmmaking, with brilliant storytelling and acting, which is mostly by first time actors. However, the movie is morally bankrupt. It contains a lot of lewd content, including a graphic scene of pedophilia. For this scene alone, the movie becomes abhorrent. There is also plenty of strong foul language, much of it coming from the teenagers and children, along with underage drinking and smoking by both children and teenagers. FISH TANK also has brief nudity in one scene. All of this despicable content reflects the movie’s amoral and immoral pagan worldview. Media-wise moviegoers definitely will want to stay away.