Release Date: February 24th, 2006 (Village East Cinemas) by First Look Pictures.
The Cast: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neil, Hugo Weaving, Martin Henderson, Noni Hazlehurst, Joel Tobeck, Dustin Nguyen.
Directed by Rowan Woods.
BASIC PREMISE: Tracey (Blanchett), a reformed drug addict, returns to the world of drugs when her ex-boyfriend Jonny (Nguyen) comes back into her life.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: A few good performances are not enough to keep your attention in this slow-moving, predictable film. As usual, Cate Blanchett gives a convincing performance as Tracey, who manages a video store but tries to get a loan so that she can install internet gaming. Her past drug-convictions don’t look quite good on her records, so, obviously, the bank refuses the loan. That’s when her ex-boyfriend Jonny seduces her back into the drug trade business. Everyone else in her life is also involved with drugs in one way or another, including her brother Ray (Henderson) and Lionel (Weaving), the ex-boyfriend of her mother. Weaving gives the strongest performance out of the entire cast, but the weak script doesn’t make him into an original, memorable character. The basic plot tension is whether or not Tracey will finally resist the temptation to get involved with drugs. Unfortunately, there’s not enough going on in the plot or character development to really show this tension. Why should you care about Tracey in the first place? The slow pace makes the film often drag. On a positive note, Little Fish is exquisitely shot without shaky camera movements. If only the script would have been tighter and the plot more compelling, it would have been much less boring.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The only thought-provoking aspect of Little Fish is the title, which refers to bags with little fish containing amphetamines inside the fish. However, it could also refer to the nature of the characters in the drug world—how small and cold they feel. The ending doesn’t leave you with much to feel afterwards.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Predictable, thin plot and very little character development.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Despite great performances and cinematography, Little Fish has very little going with an unoriginal plot and boring characters.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
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