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Tides Is A Bleak Distressing Dystopian Drama





Starring  Nora Arnezeder, Iain Glen, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina

Directed  by  Tim Fehlbaum

Rating: **

Tides Movie Review: A   disquieting bleakness belches across this broadly-defined dystopian drama  where nothing holds together. Mother Earth is  angry. Civilization is  more or less dead  and  the  hero, actually the  heroine,is an astronaut  sent back to survey the survivors  of  civilization.


 Obliquely and bleakly ,this Swiss-German production in English, suggests that we are hurling towards catastrophe.

 Do we really need  to be reminded  of how close we are to  destruction? I mean  look at  us. We’ve all becomes masked monkeys ,  avoiding all social  interaction  like the plague. Gosh, there is  so much drama  already happening all around us,do we need more of  the same from our movies?

To its credit Tides(also known as  The Colony) has  its head firmly wrapped around  the idea of dystopian destruction. Though the  plot moves along a number  of  clearly defined episodes that  seem to bear  little resemblance to one another, the  tides,so to speak, are clearly churning. The plot, though unfinished and inconclusive does  make its piercing  point on  a post-apocalypse universe where  the  stakes are not survival  but extinction with  dignity.

Nora Arnezeder as  the protagonist Blake(bleak?)  is every but the  warrior survivor, as female  astronaut with her nuts bolted  tightly , she  is  hardheaded and prone to take flash-decisions that eventually pay off. Wisely  the script(Tim Fehlbaum,Mariko Minoguchi) chooses to go with  Nora’s  instincts.She provides the much-needed anchor to the storytelling.

When we first see Blake she is held captive  in a  watery well. That watery  soggy  feeling  never leaves  the storytelling. Markus Förderer’s cinematography challenges us  to  embrace  Blake’s bleakness as she trudges along through a trajectory  of pain  and acceptance  where she  must confront her past and  her own father.There are no  emotional meltdowns between  father and  daughter.


  Not that  Tides is  bereft of an emotional bedrock. The  bonding that grows between Blake  and  a young girl Maila(Bela Bading) is captivating in its  economy of emotional expression. We don’t see them  getting emotional with one  another. Yet  we can see that Blake  has motherly affection towards Maila  .The irony of Blake’s maternal instincts opening up  in a film where the earth has  become infertile is  not lost.

Tides doesn’t lose its way in its maze of  confounding future shocks. But it doesn’t quite know what  to do with the  heaving lurching mass  of  dystopian  uncertainties that stare at us  from a  film that is unblinkingly  gloomy.

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