Fish Tank, a film by Andrea Arnold

I am astonished by how Andrea Arnold kept me open-minded in being ambivalent toward each character. Just as I thought one thing was going to happen, there was a twist in the plot that changed my perspective, bringing me mixed and unsure feelings about everyone.

I find this to be a very strategic form of film-making because not only was a story told through what we seen, but also through what we hear. We would get a glimpse of music that fit the theme of various moments throughout the film. In a sense, it added value to what was currently going on. For instance, the final song of the film was “Life’s A Bitch”, mentioning that life is a bitch and then you die. By the end of the film ,Mia, the main character has experienced a series of events that would have supported the lyrics of the song.

In addition to the final song, I found the dance scene with the family quite weird because there had never been a moment of unison amongst the family until then. Some may argue that the disconnect and hatred is a unique representation of how a family sticks together, I do not agree or disagree. This made me reflect on the title “Fish Tank” because it was a strong representation of the sort of relationships present in that community. When I think of a fish tank, I think of a habitat, followed by survival. Andrea Arnold did a very good job illustrating how each individual life contributed to one another. Mia, the main character can easily resemble the fish considered as an “outsider”.

I think the Mise-En-Scene was genius and very strategic. Although this film was released in 2009, By the use of the film grain, aspect ratio, and even authentic camera movement, it made the film more personal. In opinion, the low-budget look can be associated with the class of the neighbourhood. To say the least, the story was very parallel to the way it looked on screen.

As I reflect on everything that has transpired in the film, it influences me to take a different approach with associating a story with the way it looks.

 

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