There is something beautiful about releasing a silent movie. Unlike The Artist (which, is a novelty film at best, and completely derivative and boring at worst,) there have been plenty of successful silent movies such as Return the Babylon, Blancanieves, and, yes, Shaun the Sheep.
To craft a dialogue-less film and make it appeal to mainstream audience and a critical one too, that takes skill and mastery. That type of talent is prevalent in The Red Turtle.
Helped by animation legends Studio Ghibli, this French animation was nominated for an Academy Award and won Un Certain Regard at the 2016 Canne’s Film Festival. The Red Turtle is a movie about a castaway who finds himself stranded upon an island. Circling around the place, he discovers that he is all alone, with no way to get back home. Sourcing food and shelter from the abundance of trees around, the nameless man attempts escape by building rafts from the bamboo. However, each attempt is thwarted by an equally silent and ginormous red turtle. After an altercation, the man is shocked to stare out of the ocean and find a red-headed woman staring back at him…
Director Michael Dudok De Wit crafts a splendid and fearless piece of art with sublime animation. From the soaring and raging waves to the creatures on the island (a special shout out to the humorous and curious crabs on the sand who scuttle with superb character,) the artistry on display here is unlike anything seen before. The colours are enriching and captivating, striving for every single second it wildly turns on the screen.
At a mere 80 minutes long, The Red Turtle is a perfectly contained story with absolutely zero dialogue. It is enriched with a sentimentality and painful humanity within the wordless silence and quaking score by Laurent Perez del Mar. There is emotion in every beat; a visceral will to survive and an impossible enchantment with every wave. It is a soaring feat of a man who, despite being isolated and away from society can build a life and, most importantly, live happily in it.
The Red Turtle will blow you away with its product. A whirlwind achievement that quite rightly earned the best accolades. De Wit has crafted a spectacular wonderment that will stay with you for a lifetime. A must-see movie that will enrapture children in some way too, this is an impossibly uplifting and daring piece of cinema.
The Red Turtle is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now!