The Red Turtle (2017)

The Red Turtle (2017)

2017 | 80 Minutes

Fantasy | Drama | Animation

The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds.

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • The Red Turtle is visual storytelling at its finest. I've not seen many films that have little to no dialogue, and immediately this reminded me of 'All Is Lost'. An international co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli, this is simply a story of a man stranded on a remote luscious island where he must be forced to survive. Well...at first it seemed like that. Then he encounters the titular red turtle, survival has now turned into an intimate sublime view on life and death. It's hard not to appreciate a film that attempts to push boundaries, to use the medium as a means of art as opposed to mindless entertainment. The Red Turtle is just that. Art. Absolutely gorgeous animation, truly superb. The detail in the landscape and characters is rather minimalistic, but it's the colour palette and effortless blend of the greyscale pigmentation that elevates this cinematic piece to an exceedingly high level. As with many contemporary artsy films, the story itself is fuelled by metaphors. The subtext that lurks beneath the colourful surface. I'm sure you could interpret this in various ways, from the religious "Adam & Eve" connotations to the neglect of wildlife. I personally viewed this as the latter. A pivotal scene where the red turtle is washed ashore, our silent character does something. It evoked feelings of shock and disappointment but it was conveyed as a microcosm for society and how we treat wildlife. I'm still trying to work out the symbolism of the turtles but the beauty of such a short rapid film is that I can easily watch it again. The lack of dialogue doesn't deter from connecting with the story, in fact the characters had personalities. Sure they were simple, however it was well presented. Even the island itself felt like it had a personality of its own, especially with the wide variety of wildlife that reside there. The musical score was also breathtakingly beautiful, gave me goosebumps. All in all, The Red Turtle was a visual treat boosted by a mature metaphorical story to keep you intrigued.