2 August 2006 | gsygsy
This is an interesting movie, well worth seeing, even though it has substantial failings. Evenness of pace is probably its most debilitating aspect: the slow, steady plod to the climax prevents that climax from being quite as climactic as it should be. Also, the director and his DOP are too in love with the hand-held camera for their own good: too much of it really is irritating, and there is much too much of it in this film. Having said that, there are some wonderful shots and juxtaposition of shots, moving us from warm reds to cool blues and back again. As far as the plot is concerned, the characters are all too neatly slotted into it, emphasising the story's artificiality, which plays against naturalism of the acting, just as the snappy editing plays against the hand-held camera-work. .Compare and contrast THE USUAL SUSPECTS, which is so wonderfully artificial throughout that its story's twists, turns and games, and the theatrical turns from most of its cast add up to something very entertaining. LITTLE FISH, in the end, perhaps takes itself a little too seriously.
That's the carping out of the way. The good news is that the acting is terrific. Blanchett is a rare leading actress, capable of convincing us she's an ordinary working girl - one simply can't imagine, for example, Kidman taking this role on and making it so real and touching. Sam Neill, cast against type, is wonderfully loathsome. Martin Henderson, Dustin Nguyen, Joel Tobeck - all give top-class support. But the revelation is Hugo Weaving, who is magnificent as the drug-addicted former star-sportsman. Can this be the same actor who has been marking his time in THE MATRIX and LORD OF THE RINGS? Amazingly, it is. A totally convincing transformation. All in all, an only just better-than-average thriller, greatly enhanced by its actors.