Kitty_Stitcher (tarnera) wrote,

Random Things #102: Tideland

A friend of mine was talking about this movie on Plurk today, and despite the majority of reviews being negative, I decided to give it a watch anyway. Here are my thoughts on it.

The entire film is, in my very humble opinion, quite well done. It is done from the perspective of a child--one Miss Jeliza-Rose. After her mother dies from... I'm pretty sure it was a drug overdose of some sort, though the dialogue left that incredibly unclear in the movie... she and her father take off to the middle of nowhere, since her dad (a drug addict himself) fears the authorities will take his daughter away. Jeliza-Rose herself is incredibly unaffected by her mother's death, though from what little I saw the woman wasn't much of a mother. So perhaps that can be forgiven.

Once at the house that (supposedly) belonged to Jeliza-Rose's grandmother, her father overdoses on some drug, heroin most likely, and dies himself, leaving her to run around and play games of imagination all day--since she believes her father is just 'on vacation' and never seems to realize he's actually died. This part is mostly interesting because of the things she imagines, and her doll's heads, which she wears on her fingers and seem to take on bits of her personality--one doll egging her on while the other protests 'No, no, I'm scared!' all in Jeliza-Rose's voice, of course.

The main protests seem to be about what happens between Jeliza-Rose and her new neighbors--a mentally challenged man, who claims to be a submarine captain (the 'sea' being the prairie grass and his 'submarine' being a collection of tarps draped over a tree), and his sister, a woman who is allergic to bees. Once they discover she's living alone with her dead (and decomposing) father, Dell (the sister) uses her skills in taxidermy to preserve him--we also get some hints that maybe Dell used to know, and love, Jeliza-Rose's father. And Jeliza-Rose decides she's in love with Dickens, the man.

Keep in mind, this is a little girl, maybe ten years old, playing 'let's pretend' with a man who might be easily twice her age, but isn't too much older mentally. Despite the fact that they kiss several times, I still think this is perfectly plausible for the film, since it's being told from a 10-year-old's perspective. She gets a person who will not only play her games with her, but will do it willingly. He pays attention to her. In her experience, people who pay attention to her love her--after all, her parents paid attention (when they were sober and wanted something) and her parents loved her, right? And if he wants to kiss her, that's all right. After all, that's what boyfriends and girlfriends do, there's nothing wrong with that. She simply doesn't understand that there's more to it than that, and I think the film did a wonderful job portraying that side of things--that is, they would get interrupted every time things looked like they were about to take a turn for the badness.

All in all, I really enjoyed this film. I loved the brief blurrings of reality where her dreams or imaginings would take over, and in some cases it was very difficult to determine what was real and what wasn't. I especially liked that part, actually--it reminded me a great deal of the games I used to play, and the way I was in general, as a kid.

In conclusion, while it's clear not everyone likes this film, I think it's well worth a watch--as long as you try to remember what it was like to be a child, and keep in mind that it's being told from that perspective.
Tags: :), movie review, this is your brain on tarnera
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