Mar 262007

Saw Terry Gilliam’s newest movie, Tideland, yesterday. And my indifferent response is reflected in the less-than-average number of stars.

It’s not that I didn’t want to like the movie – the ex-Python is one of the directors whose output I’ve found to be very agreeable (even when it’s at the odds with the rest of the world, like with Brothers Grimm). But Tideland was a movie I honestly found myself increasingly disliking – though things improved towards the end.

Like the recent Pan’s Labyrinth, this is a fractured fairy tale, told from the perspective of a young girl. The circumstances are obviously different than in de Toro’s masterpiece, and Tideland never ventures truly far into the realm of fables.

And that’s probably one of its downfalls, the movie has a very boring mid-section, and only the glorious scenery – flowing gold in the form of undulating wheat – keeps from falling asleep.

Apart from Jeliza-Rose, the protagonist, the rest of the troupe is between disturbed and annoying. Jennifer Tilly, obviously, falls into the second batch.

The story on the confusing side, and very little is explained fully. Thus the watcher is left to puzzle over the dialogue – most of which are from very unreliable sources.

Like in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the recreational use of drugs is common in the movie – something that the more censor-oriented watchers found very damning, especially when it’s the little girl that prepares the doses for his Denmark-obsessed father.

Half a star as a bonus to the translator/subtitlist, whose expression “suojässi” for “bog-men” definitely was one of the very few highlights of this film.

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