The Red Turtle first caught my attention because it was up for an Academy Award this year. I went in not knowing much other than that. The title credits started and, once I saw it was a Studio Ghibli film, an entire ‘wave’ of anticipation hit me. Okay, maybe it was just because I was watching this man fight for his life as he is shipwrecked. (Too punny?)
Some say The Red Turtle is a fable, but generally fables come with a moral and I just couldn’t figure out what that moral of this movie was. So I had to look up the official synopsis:
“Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, ‘The Red Turtle’ recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.”
That helped because – with the exception of grunts, laughs, and screams – there is no dialogue. That doesn’t mean the film isn’t descriptive. The visuals are beautiful and the pacing was deliberate, taking it’s time, like most Studio Ghibli films. It gives you a chance to breath and take in the details. It leaves you asking more questions and open to the lessons life wants to show you.
The score was perfect for the film and really accentuated the dramas of life. Overall, I enjoyed the film. I enjoyed the time I had with my thoughts and, even though I wouldn’t give it a high replay value, I think seeing it once will be worth it.
The Red Turtle opened in select theaters nationwide, on January 20, 2017. You can buy tickets here. If you are in the Phoenix area, there will have a limited release starting on Friday, February 3rd at Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square 14.
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes