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A thoughtful indie
Weaverfish is an excellent film for the budget and expectations. If you're expecting a Hollywood blockbuster, you are probably watching the wrong film. If you want to see strong directing, beautiful cinematography and some shock performances from actors, this would be your cup of tea.
The film is HEAVILY focused on character and it sits on the strength of the emotions you feel for the characters. Shane O'Maara and Lucy Quinlan-Jones are excellent in the lead roles, while support cast also have moments to shine. The understated performance of Shane is perhaps the highlight of the film, with many scenes getting by on his simplistic yet highly effective acting style. The characters themselves are well thought out and believable, thus we feel their pain and their excitement equally. Some moments of dialogue feel slightly juvenile, but in general the script does its job in making the audience believe who they are watching are real.
The narrative is let down a little by the pace of the film whereby you get thrown in very fast with snappy scenes to begin, but then slow during the character building which at times drags. The plot itself is simple, vague and intriguing, meshing together a coming of age story with a horror. The audience doesn't feel spoon fed, which is testament to scripting, but at times characters seem to totally evade plot to just tangent away. Although this did a lot for character building, at times it detracted from the building tensions and left the film feeling a little loose around the edges. The ending also felt a little rushed, however, I greatly appreciate the director's choice to end the film as he did and was not disappointed.
The visuals and effects were all beautiful and music stands up on its own to hold things together. All in all, it is technically a very sound film and you probably notice less hiccoughs then in many bigger productions. That said, it would have benefited from a higher budget to increase the amount of visual presence of effects and "villain" characters. On that note it was also disappointing that there is 1 shot where the villain is spoon fed to the audience. That was unnecessary as the more subtle appearances were more effective and the spoon feeding shot broke some semblance of the believability of the narrative.
Wall's directing ability is clear from this; that is he has a lot of talent and is beginning to find his film making feet. What he missed in the pacing, he made up for in creating a gripping story that does not let an audience leave. With more experience and a higher budget, we can expect Wall to begin producing character driven films with a grounding in the socially relevant and the delightfully strange! One to watch!