Angry Mia (Katie Jarvis) lives in a nasty, soul destroying British housing estate. She has dysfunctional relationships with everybody from her family to girls her own age. At 15, she faces dilemmas over whether to pursue her dancing or go to a special school desired by her mother but for the moment rage is mostly all that consumes her. All that changes however when her mother (Kierston Wareing) brings home Connor (Michael Fassbender) who promises to inject some love into the home.

This is a highly confronting film where the boundaries of property and person disappear in ways that becoming ever more problematic as the movie progresses. The language is coarse and the cinematography often contributes to the sense of dissonance. Jarvis gives a magnificent performance, mixing both anger and determination to get what she wants. Fassbender’s Prince Charming is totally convincing even though there are persistent worries as to the appropriateness of his relationship with Mia.

The last 15 minutes is deeply unsettling and is as uncomfortable to view at times as say scenes from last year’s Samson & Delilah. The juxtaposition of homely desires – the family picnic, tidy rooms, generosity to all – against the moral vacuity that all the players embrace keeps one engrossed.

Rated as the best British film of the year, Fish Tank is a must see (if you can stomach it.)

Kryztoff Rating    4K