Sunday, October 30, 2016


WHAT AN INAPPROPRIATE TIME OF YEAR TO REVIEW THIS MOVIE!  That's what I hear burbling in the waves...LET ME EXPLAIN.  This was billed to me as an under-appreciated Halloween story.  It arrived JUST IN TIME, and we watched it, and...WHAT A SURPRISE!  This is an EPIC of PISCATORIAL LOVE, two people meeting in a remote village where they're both trying to get away from it all, and LOVE BLOOMS, and gosh darn it all to heck if he doesn't find out that she's TURNING INTO A FISH.  But from there it all kind of goes wacka-wacka.  Make no mistake:  this particular love story is a TRAGEDY.  The tragedy is not about the romance at all, which is a nice change of pace.  The tragedy is about a recruiting operative's internal conflict about her DESTINY.


>> Evan (Lou Pucci), like any dutiful son, has come to Italy to fulfill his parents' dream for him.  Oh, and he's wanted by the police in California, so there's that.  But what he finds is not FREEDOM; it's BELONGING (to a North American, those two ideas are essentially OPPOSITES).  The love of his life is waiting for him there in a little seaside bar.

>> Louise (Nadia Hilker) approaches him quite BOLDLY, and Evan finds her irresistible.  OF COURSE.  But then she seems to change her mind.  But then she changes her mind again, and now she wants him.  And he wants her.  And then she runs for it, for reasons he can't understand.

>> From here the story becomes quite familiar to any landfish gal watching.  In a PAINFUL way. Louise is going through the stage of SELF-DOUBT many of us have to deal with:  is this really what I'm supposed to be doing?  Am I a shaved monkey or am I a many-tentacled water-breather?  Dry or wet?  Land or sea?  WHICH IS IT GOING TO BE?  It feels like a pretty monumental choice, you know?  IT IS.  OF COURSE IT IS.

>> But Louise explains it perfectly in two sentences:  "I don't choose.  My body chooses."  And so it is for us all.  WHEN DAGON CALLS, YOU GOTTA GO. 

>> That would be fine if that were where she left it.  But oh, no, she wants to FIGHT BACK and do what the protagonist of every American horror movie does:  DEFEAT THE MENACE.  She's trying to -- not irradiate the silicates or send the ghosts into the light -- but KEEP HERSELF HUMAN FOREVER.  Towards that end she's become an evolutionary biologist and is giving herself some kind of shots.  I really wonder what's in that syringe.  JUST KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME!  It works like gangbusters and within a few minutes of taking the stuff, she's a featherless biped again.

>> What's most familiar to me, is the way she needs to keep ducking out of the room, to take an urgently-needed shower, to eat something Evan mustn't see her eat, to sprout fins and gills in privacy.  It's SO HARD to maintain that wall of secrecy until recruitment is complete and the human becomes enough of a fish to UNDERSTAND.  And for MOST of us, the hard part is stepping back into human civilization, all buttoned up and pretending to be ONE OF THEM.  For Louise, the hard part is STAYING HUMAN.  Of COURSE it's hard.  In fact, it's IMPOSSIBLE.  But she doesn't get that!

>> See, she states early on that she's realized she is reverting somehow to an earlier evolutionary stage, like the fur-encrusted, tailed, gilled stages a human embryo goes through on its way to becoming an air-breathing, squalling, semi-aquatic Naked Ape.  DOES SHE REALLY BELIEVE THAT HUMANS EVOLVED FROM CEPHALOPODS?  If that doesn't tell you right there that she's on the wrong track..!

>> The fact is, becoming a Squid or Cuttlefish isn't part of her evolutionary PAST.  It's her FUTURE.  And the sooner she gets a grip on that fact, the happier she'll be. 

This funhouse-mirror, nightmare version of the Little Mermaid story is easily available on DVD for a few bucks.  Bring a whole box of Kleenex, if you're still human enough to cry.  This one will TEAR YOU APART.


Post a Comment

<< Home