Wednesday, 13 August 2008

No.17 : Water Lilies (Naissance des pieuvres)

IMDb Link:

Here’s the first film where the translation has suited our cause - the literal translation from the French, according to Babelfish, is ‘Birth of the Octopuses’ but I think ‘Water Lilies’ was a better choice, all things considered.

The film follows three 15 year old girls all of who are involved in the exciting world of synchronized swimming. One girl is a flat chested slow developer who has feelings for a bustier girl who in turn fancies the local stud but is scared to go all the way. Sandwiched between them is a dumpy girl who is willing to go all the way but has trouble snaring her favourite candidate, the busty one‘s frustrated boyfriend.

The themes of adolescence and the onset of womanhood are well handled and, despite a promising set up, I’m sure the dirty Mac brigade were left disappointed. There are a lot of scenes of young girls in swim suits frolicking about underwater and I’m sure if I shot the same thing in my local baths I’d be arrested, but the innocence and charm are preserved and it was in no way salacious or suspect. Well apart from one girl and she was over 18.

The love square that develops is well done with each of the four main characters only one person away from the one they want. No one seems happy at the end, so it’s a well made lesson in what they can expect from life!

The version I saw appeared to have been subtitled by a Dalek as the translations were rudimentary at best. Saying that it speaks volumes for the leads as at no point was I unsure of anyone’s emotions or motivations. At a relatively short 80 minutes the film asks little of you and your efforts are well rewarded with a touching well crafted experience.

Best Bit : All of it apart from the changing room and swimming pool scenes. Officer.

‘W’ Score 16/23

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