As she did in Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s 2017 quick, Into The Blue, Gracija Filipovic spends most of her Croatian compatriot’s debut characteristic in a washing go well with. Certainly, she’s usually seen within the sea, because it’s the one place the place she will escape from the controlling father, Ante (Leon Lučev), with whom she goes diving every morning. The shot of a speared moray eel (from which the movie takes its title) writhing in a bucket serves as an emblem for Julija’s scenario, as she’s confined to the massive however entombing beachside home that Ante hopes to swap for a luxurious condominium in Zagreb if he can persuade previous pal Javier (Cliff Curtis) to spend money on a vacation resort challenge.
Kusijanović’s imagery is not at all times so on the nostril, nevertheless. As Julija learns that adults do not at all times play by the foundations, the director and cinematographer Hélène Louvart use underwater sequences to put her in a state of suspended animation, whereas the simmering temper intensifies as Ante realises that his daughter is just not solely attempting to make use of her rising consciousness of her personal attract to appeal Javier, but additionally to compete along with her mom Nela (Danica Curcic), whom she blames for her plight as a result of she had turned down Javier’s proposal with the intention to marry Ante.
Martin Scorsese’s presence as govt producer and the Caméra d’Or win for finest first characteristic at Cannes add to the kudos. As does the depth of Filipovic’s watchful efficiency, which reinforces the notion that Julija is trapped in a latter-day fairy story. But, for all its visible prowess and atmospheric intrigue, this acute critique of boorish patriarchalism suffers from simplistic characterisation and a few protracted and complicated motion within the remaining reel. The faults lie extra with the script, co-written by Frank Graziano, than Kusijanovic’s path, which is sufficiently assured to recommend nice issues could possibly be in retailer.