Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles all alone for his life with the relentless towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man set adrift by the raging tempest washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but graceful swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet, determined to break free from his Eden-like prison, after foraging for food and fresh water and encouraged by the dense forest, the stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to the wide sea, however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping. Each day, the exhausted man never giving up hope will attempt to make a new, more improved raft, but the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures and the island's only red turtle won't let the weary survivor escape that easily. Is this the heartless enemy?Written by
I am a big fan of animation, from Anime to Disney, DreamWorks, even French animation; but very few times I have seen an outstanding, gorgeous work of art like "THE RED TURTLE"
To begin with, the film has a beautiful 2D animation, which is perfect to show the amplitude of the ocean, and the comparison between the human bodies and those created by nature. The sea, the island, the animals, everything in this movie is animated in an incredible way which makes you feel trapped by this world that looks like a painting in constant motion. Unlike other films, in THE RED TURTLE the approach is rarely only in its characters, but in the environment and how the protagonists unfold in a world as big and unknown as the ocean and the island.
Many movies, specially animated ones, don't take too many risks, and nowadays with the computer animation, I feel like the style that each artist could give to their movies, is slowly disappearing, but this movie proved me wrong. Besides, this movie does nothing else than adding limitations: no dialogue; no facial expressions; not even detailed or "interesting" environments. But all this factors are not really necessary in this 80 minutes long movie, which focuses on the journey that the main character faces while exploring all the stages of life.
The most incredible thing about this movie is that it is completely mute; therefore it only uses the music and animation to tell the story. It is very easy to explain what happens, but cinema is an audiovisual medium, and this film shows the true scope of the animation, and how it can combine the music, the images and the corporal movements of the characters to transmit the messages and emotions. Without the protagonists saying a word, one can feel the desperation, frustration, doubt, intrigue, happiness and madness that they experience.
The story in this movie is very simple, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, because its objective is to use all the elements I mentioned before and use the simple storytelling and characters in their advantage so that they can make the audience experience a different emotion and messages. The main focus of THE RED TURTLE is on the meaning of life, acting like a mirror to our own, therefore, it is the audience the one that creates the complex story by relating the multiple variations and allegories to their own experiences, and this is what will make the story vary from person to person.
Apart from the obvious moral of "man vs. nature" this film exploits other messages, such as "the beauty in the unexpected" and "the circle of life", explained, surprisingly, better than in THE LION KING, with the turtle representing the life of a person.
Even the secondary characters, who serve as comic relief like the crabs, are very entertaining and fun without the need to go to the absurd, making the audience laugh with simple movements and few scenes, turning each appearance in camera into a luxury for the viewer.
In my opinion, due to a beautiful combination of music, animation, plot and message, THE RED TURTLE is the best animated film of 2016.
In conclusion, if you are going to watch this movie, don't try to understand it, because it doesn't have a "logical" story, since it uses a different storytelling technique making you experience different feelings and situations, while exploring the true meaning of life and death. So just seat down and enjoy the ride.
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