Fish Tank, a film directed by Andrea Arnold

I would like to speak about Fish Tank, a film directed by Andrea Arnold in 2009. This is the story of Mia, a rebel teenager who lives in a poor area. Her only passion is dance, more precisely hip hop. One day, the arrival of her mother’s boyfriend will change her life. Mia doesn’t know her father, so it’s difficult for her to accept this new man. She is a sad and nervous girl who has a strange link with femininity. She wants to lead a better life and find friendship or love. Through this film, we follow the main character’s evolution.

The subject is presented without so much artifice and the main charater is considered as an “anti-heroe”. The Here, Andrea Arnold uses some elements that belong to the social realism. Indeed, her main character lives in poor suburbs surrounded with waste grounds. Violence, poverty and youth are the themes developed during this film. Framings are clamped, the camera is often carried over the shoulder, we have many subjective points of view which create a proximity with the characters and the environment. With this proximity, the audience can ear Mia’s heart beating and also her respiration. This strengthen the realism. Long shots are only used to show urban landscapes. The depth of field is low so the image is often blurred and also jerky. The camera is in perpetual movement to show that Mia is disturbed and also to translate her feelings. Over framings show that the young girl is really ill-at-ease and she is trapped.

In this film, the main character is often nervous and she is as a fish in his aquarium: she is shut up in her hard destiny and this explain the title of the film. At the beginning, her universe is restricted but when she is more self-confident and when there are interesting opportunities, the space becomes more open and there is an evolution of Mia’s character. The place where the young girl dances symbolize her isolation. Settings seems to be real. More over, much of the actors aren’t professional. All this elements strengthen the realism of the film and the audience believes more in the story.

I advise you to watch this film if you like realistic film!

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