The Red Turtle
Directed by Michael Dudok de Wit
The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds.
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★★★½ review by Jordan Raup on Letterboxd
First 78 minutes of The Red Turtle: this is a very nice movie
Last 2 minutes: I am emotionally wrecked and have a new perspective on life
★★★★★ review by Arielrocks5 on Letterboxd
A few weeks ago, in my review of "No Country for Old Men", I talked about the power of silence in cinema. Sometimes images don't need words to go along side them to get their point across. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words; and the words within the pictures in "The Red Turtle" tell a timeless tale of acceptance of one's own circumstance and how love can come from the most unlikely of places.
No words are spoken (aside from a couple hard to make out screams to gain attention of some form life), yet all that needs to be expressed is shown through the language of the surrounding's noise and the character animation of the leads (with designs that weirdly reminded me of the "TinTin" comics of all things).
A tale of a man, an island, and a turtle. One looking to finding a way home, the other his new home, and one something keeping him there, both psychically, and soon to be, mentally (watch the movie and you'll see what I mean).
Such calm sounds, beautiful music, and striking imagery. Cross the line between dreamlike and realism on the flip of a coin, and even then, it's not entirely clean if we're in one or the other. It could be real, it could be a dream, or it could be a mix between the two that most wouldn't think possible. Weirdly reminds me a bit of "Synecdoche, New York" in the way that time and reality/fantasy seems to exist in two different planes of existence that cross every so often.
Life is precious, terrifying, magical, humorous, sad, and utterly beautiful, much like this movie.
Thank you, "Red Turtle", for existing, and reminding me of that.....
★★★★½ review by Karsten Runquist on Letterboxd
When trying to figure out what exactly ‘The Red Turtle’ was about, I kinda realized it was about everything. It addressed life, death, love, hate, adolescence, curiosity, the human race’s reliance on nature and nature’s reliance on the human race. It tells these topics with such care and fragility that while it may be dense, it stills feels incredibly atmospheric. And it does all of this under beautifully immersive animation and a runtime of only an hour and 20 minutes.
★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
wew that ending
★★★★½ review by kyle97 on Letterboxd
A quiet, deep meditation on loneliness and humans’ spiritual connection with the primitive world. Co-produced by Studio Ghibli, The Red Turtle is imbued with European arthouse sensibilities, thanks to Michael Dudok de Wit’s uncompromising imagination that lives up to the creative excellence of the Japanese studio.
This minimalist piece of cinema reminds us that a simple story with a touch of fantasy can move and overwhelm us with a huge surge of emotions. But this is not the kind of film that can be taken at face value. The Red Turtle demands that you pay attention to its rich symbolism and inspiring imagery. It’s a slow pacing film, but you certainly don’t want to miss a frame. Just let it wash all over you.
Another film that got me teary-eyed. I also recommended Michael Dudok de Wit's short film Father and Daughter. It's heartbreaking!
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