There’s something to be appreciated in the art of simplicity, but only up to a point. The Red Turtle is a stunningly beautiful film that ultimately ends up handicapping itself as more of a piece of art then a traditional narrative.
Via a solitary man shipwrecked on a tropical island that is solely inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds we get a dialogue less fable about the stages and the milestones that we all encounter in our lives as human beings.
On one end, The Red Turtle is a unique and stunning piece of cinema. However on the other side of that spectrum, it is just a very pretty and very silent film (it has no dialogue) that you may actually struggle to stay awake through.
Director Michael Dudok de Wit takes us into an isolated and truly humanistic world as we see are hero struggle with such basic needs as survival to things a little more complex like companionship. It’s simplistic but truly classical and the lush visuals allow us to embrace the ride that he is trying to take us on. There is something to be said about allowing the visuals that you have on hand tell more about a story then any dialogue any could. However it also drags and feels a little pedantic at times as the point comes across a little quicker then Dudok de Wit would have wanted.
Be it in the gallery or in the multiplex, the beauty in this effort is simply undeniable, The Red Turtle is not going to be something that you take the kids to as it is a high brow affair from beginning to end that will spark the passion in the kid in us and conversation in the adult in us.