Commentaries

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

THE RED TURTLE



SO WHAT'S THE POINT?

Film Review by Fiore 


I cringe every time there is a Saturday morning screening for a kids animated flick.  The films are generally insipid, filled with a Disney globalist agenda.  The children are rude, loud and obnoxious, while their parents are too attached to their phones to correct the bad behavior.  Yet,  I like animated films intended for adults (no, I’m not talking FELIX THE CAT).   Films utilizing animation to convey an adult story are rare, and often not engaging.  TALES OF HALLOWEEN was an interesting, but very predictable anthology of horror tales.  Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOKS could be considered an animated film, even though a few live action stars appear in it.  The last epic animated film I watched was LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE.

With that background, I anticipated an enjoyable experience watching THE RED TURTLE.  The film gathered awards at various festivals with ease.  It is being considered as best animated film for the Oscars.  When the movie concluded, I scratched my head and immediately sent out a whiskey tango foxtrot alert.

I understand film well.  Often, others accuse me of reading too deeply into films, or suggest I have inserted a concept or symbolism surely not intended.  As best I can figure, THE RED TURTLE is a film about inter species co-habitation.  I have honestly attempted to place various symbolisms on the two main characters, hoping for a man and nature, man and woman or man and magic theme, but honestly, nothing works.

THE RED TURTLE has no dialogue, except for a shouted “Hey!”.  It’s the story of a man who is shipwrecked on a deserted island.  Every time he attempts to leave the island, by building a raft of bamboo, something attacks the raft and he is forced to return to the island.  The creature keeping him in place is a large red turtle (guess there’s no surprise there).  

One day, when the turtle comes ashore, the man attacks and kills it.  Afterwards, he feels remorse and tries to revive the turtle, to no avail.  Suddenly, the red turtle transforms into a dazzling red-haired woman.  The man and woman live in happy bliss on the island and even have a son.

As the years go by, no ship, plane or other sea creature comes near this island.  As deserted islands go, this one is off the charts. Kong could use this type of remoteness.   At no time, through all the years is there even a hint of a rescue.  The couple’s son grows, and eventually swims off with a group of turtles.  Quelle surprise!  The man eventually dies of old age, and when he does, the woman turns back into the Red Turtle and swims off into the sunset.

I searched all my collected knowledge of Aesop’s Fables, The Brother Grimm, the Bible, Greek and Egyptian mythology and even conversed with friends who are Wiccan, and no where can I find any tale, story, parable, myth or legend that comes close to trying to explain THE RED TURTLE.  Even if you mix and match tales, there’s still nothing here.

The rumors in Tinseltown are Dutch animator Michael Dudok de Wit wanted Studio Ghibli to release one of his short-animated movies in Japan.  The studio was reluctant, so de Wit promised to give the studio a full length animated film if they would handle the distribution of his short film in Japan.  The studio agreed and the resulting movie was THE RED TURTLE.  Perhaps the only purpose for the movie is to serve as payment for Japanese distribution of another film.

Let’s look at the report card for THE RED TURTLE:
ACTING = F
CINEMATOGRAPHY = D
SOUND/MUSIC = D
EDITING = C
LIGHTING = C
SCRIPT = F
SFX = F
ACTION = F


It figures that only members fully immersed in the H3L could find anything of value in this movie.  Perhaps you still must believe Hillary won the election, and everyone should be allowed into our country to make any sense of this movie.



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