Dec. 19th, 2012 12:09 am
von_geisterhand: (Default)
[personal profile] von_geisterhand
I finally got round to watching the copy of "Tideland" [personal profile] dingsi sent me ages ago. It was an experience. I, like undoubtedly many, many other, was not terribly impressed by Mr: Gilliam's previous film "The Brothers Grimm" and so I was sincerely hoping that "Tideland" would reintroduce some of the weirdness I loved "Brazil" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" for.
And in that respect, "Tideland" did not disappoint. It is probably not too bold a claim to suggest that "Tideland" is Mr. Gilliam's weirdest film in a while, if not ever.
After her mother* dies from a drug overdose, young Jeliza Rose and her father travel to the country in oder to live amongst the plains and fields of an unspecified and arid piece of the American landscape. Here, in the abandoned house of his mother J-R's dad very soon also buys the farm in the intravenous way, a fact Jeliza-Rose remains blissfully unaware of due to her incredible naivité. J-R explores the surrounding area accompanied by her "friends", four doll's heads with distinct personalities she carries on her fingers, running into Dell, an imposing, one-eyed woman looking like a post-apocalyptic gunslinger and her brother Dickens, who looks and acts like a lost member of "Texas Chain Saw Massacre"'s Sawyer family.
And with that, we have now set the scene for a heartwarming story of a young girl escaping her terrible surroundings through the power of fantasy. You know, like in "Pan's Labyrinth".... :-D

....except that it really isn't. Flights of fantasy do not help J-R escape (and are hardly even shown "from the inside"), nothing gets better and the closest thing we get to a "She cleans up nicely"-montage again skirts really close to "Texas Chain Saw Massacre" and not in an ironic way. Not to mention the most horrific Happy Ending this side of "The Mist".

It is a bold film, and a ride. I cannot think of any other major director who would have dared tackle the material in this way but much like "The Road" it will divide audiences.
Personally, I don't mind it being so dark but would have wished for it to be slightly more of a narrative and not exclusively a mood piece.

* Jennifer Tilly at her white-trashiest.
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