Cast: Alexia Anastasio, Bonnie Lawrence, Vivian Kane
Writer and Director: Alexia Anastasio
Have you ever seen a movie where you liked a lot of things about it, but didn’t like it as a whole piece. Oh I’m sure you raved about the performances and you really liked certain scenes. But when you look back at it in it’s entirety. You start to find some faults with it. Well that’s essentially how I felt about this movie called “Little Fishes“. There is a lot of really good things about it, and if it was structured a little different, it could have been something incredible. In order to make this review a good one. I’m going to have to get into the plot a little bit more then I do with my other reviews and explain myself fully.
I rarely do this with my reviews, but for this one I feel like I have to give you a full synopsis of this movie in order to properly review it. “Little Fishes” starts with our main character Pearl(Alexia Anastasio) talking about being in love with this girl named Goby(Bonnie Lawrence)who broke her heart. We see then see Pearl in a hotel room making love with a girl we assume is Goby but turns out to be someone named Angel(Brena Gwyn Snowe) . After a long credit sequence that doesn’t actually show any credits we then see Pearl explaining her story about Goby to poet D.H. Lawrence who’s work helped inspire this feature. Next we see Pearl reunite with Goby at her dance practice area and the two hit it off pretty well. Later on that day she meets up with another old friend named Marina(Vivian Kane) and I get the assumption that these three were best friends back when they were kids. I just wish there were scenes that expressed this a little bit more. Marina has a boyfriend named Gil(Tyler Johnson) who doesn’t seem to appreciate her much. She has a little fling with a young surfer, but nothing ever comes of it. Although those scenes with them are very good. As Pearl’s relationship with Goby becomes more and more intimate. Marina becomes a bit more hostile to them. She feels left out, which made me question why. Is she gay, is she bi. Why does she have this need to be with older men. I think Marina is one of the most fascinating characters in this movie and yet she is only a supporting one. Pearl doesn’t want to get too serious about her relationship with Goby and the two break up. Goby’s reaction to Pearl is one of the best break up moments I have seen and I liked that it wasn’t over dramatic as it is in other movies. Cut to some time later when Pearl is dating this new guy who really likes her, but according to him. Doesn’t seem to be that much into him. It turns out this guy she is dating is the brother of the girl we saw in the beginning named Angel. The movie ends with Pearl shedding her clothes to represent how she now has a better understanding about love, but I could be wrong. It’s just how I’m viewing it.
I liked the actors involved, and director Alexia Anastasio(click link to see her other works) gets really good performances from her cast. There are some intimate moments between her and actress Bonnie Lawrence that made me feel these two really loved each other. However I found the sexual chemistry between Alexia and actress Brena Gwyn Snowe to be slightly better. Vivian Kane really stood out for me and I loved every scene she was in. The Character of Marina is flawed, but that’s what I found so interesting about her. She is dating Gil who she doesn’t love. Has an interest in this younger surfer, but is not sure on how to proceed with it. Then she becomes jealous of Goby and Pearl having a relationship. I’m guessing she feels hurt because those two have found love and she hasn’t. Of all the little fishes in the sea. She is the one who is still in the school, constantly searching. While watching this, I kept thinking that Marina should be the main character and Goby and Pearl’s story be the subplot. I also would have loved if it explained that Goby, Pearl, and Marina were best friends back in childhood. Show a scene when they were kids to help express this fact a little more. This way when Pearl does reunite with Goby it has a little bit more weight to it. The scenes with Pearl and Angel could have been moved towards the end instead of having them at the beginning.
This is Alexia Anastasio’s first narrative feature film. She also directed the documentaries”Adventures in Plymptoons“(click link to read review)and the recent “Ginger Girls“)(click link to learn more about the movie). I look forward to what she makes in the future because there are some great moments in this. I just wish that it was structured a bit different.