A study of growing up in poverty and the cycle of aggression and frustration that can cause a teen to spiral out of control. Dance and alcohol appear the only release for Mia, but one is a destructive force, while the other capable of providing real freedom. Katie Jarvis is perfectly cast as the troubled teen, mixing vulnerability and likability, with her darker nature. In the end we are left with empathy and hope.
Three minutes in, and the chav girl from the 'Gritty Social' chapter of the BBC scripting cookbook has already broken a nose, and tried to set free the tired old symbolic horse that signifies thirst for freedom (see also: "flogging a dead horse"). It only gets more clichéd and condescending from there.
Reminiscent of such British greats as Mike Leigh & Ken Loach, as well as the Kitchen Sink exponents of today. Almost as Riffraff & Kes as Loach, almost as dire & miserabilist as Leigh. In that regard, many of its twists are already telegraphed, a story where everyone knows everyone else's life story, set in those prospectless warrens of suburban UK. Still this has virtues of its own, a heart tick-tocking in place.
Lots to recommend visually. But the misery seems a bit one dimensional. Maybe its style encumbering the story, but it lacks genuine vitality. Feels more about sticking faithfully to a certain kind of rigid social-realist style and formalism than attempting a true character study. Shame Katie Jarvis hasn't done more since.
Ultimately - Life's a bitch and then you die. Although I have little interest in the characters, it one of the finest films of the reality of touching into adulthood, and the path ahead which will ultimately lead to disappointments. I don't usually connect with these kind of films, but it is a real journey, and the Life's a bitch seen is just perfect and beneath all of the shit, and coldness, there is some connection
(...)Tatsächlich meinten einige Kunden am Videotresen unserer Filmkunstbar Fitzcarraldo, Connor sei pedophil. Ich denke da anders, vor allem, weil es in Fish Tank auch nicht um Sex geht, sondern die Abwärtsspirale, in der sich das Mädchen befindet. Arnold zeigt das Geschehen durch Mias Sichtweise und spart alles andere aus.(...)