Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Green Sea: Movie Review

A compelling lead character with a weird, slow-moving story.

The Green Sea has created a unique world. The setting is the Irish countryside, away from a small town, Simone lives independently and solemnly. Simone is the central character but the tone and direction of the film is very hard to pin down. Traces of a psychological drama or thriller are most prominent, but then comes a science fiction emphasis, and interest in the story starts to fade when things start making less sense.   2021

Directed by: Randal Plunkett

Screenplay by: Randal Plunkett

Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Hazel Doupe

Katharine Isabelle stars as Simone, and lends her all the solemn misery that anyone could handle. Simone was Sim Chaos, a former heavy metal musician, on the outs from her former band, that obviously didn’t handle well the struggle of being not-quite-successful. Now she’s a writer; working on her second novel after the first one was released six years ago. That gives a pretty good idea of where she’s at mentally. Her house is in complete disarray, she drinks at every opportunity, does her best to avoid people, and when she can’t avoid people is rude and surly. Life has not been kind to her, and she’s not handling it well.

But here’s the thing about Simone: I get her. She is completely understandable and relatable. Her lack of human connection drags the film down, an already slow-moving film that threatens to move even slower. That little bit of back story takes most of an hour to be revealed. Writer/director Randal Plunkett likes his atmosphere, but it’s also really well done. The cinematography is very effective and compelling, the score cues up changes in the genre which actually helps even the tone out, and the trust in a lonely Simone is evident and fitting to the story.

The story is that while drinking and driving, Simone hits a young girl. Obviously guilty, Simone takes the girl home, lets her sleep it off, offers her food and a ride into town in the morning. Known as “the Kid”, the girl (Hazel Doupe) doesn’t speak, and even after Simone’s many attempts, doesn’t leave. She does eventually speak, but her entire presence is just strange. If the genre was more identifiable, then her role in the story might make more sense. The Kid is not nearly as compelling as Simone and the movie takes way too long to reveal what’s actually happening.

By the end, I liked Simone even more than I liked her at the beginning. Ultimately, The Green Sea is a character study, but it takes weird, long drawn-out circuitous routes to getting there, including throwing in a sci fi twist. It’s a well produced, beautifully made original story with a unique point of view, but it’s going to take a unique viewer to appreciate how the story is told.