𝑤𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I found a road that goes underwater.”
I can see why this surreal fantasy film is so mixed with critics and audiences and the reasons why is the reasons why I like it.
The ambience atmosphere that Gosling creates in a impressive directional debut keeps the film so magically operational with hints of his artistic eye mentor Refn who helped out tremendously behind the scenes which is pretty obvious.
It’s short with characters and narrative but builds a bridge that has you walk across yourself to understand the metaphors and overall life meanings. I really love the poster for this, it captures that fantasy feeling when you were a kid drifting with your imagination. The underwater city and the idea of capturing a creature to break the curse of today’s economic crisis is just something occult and preternatural about mixing modern society with fairy tales. The folklore merging with reality is just a great style of cinema if done right. Ryan captures it metaphorically with theme but the characters did need work along with its somewhat passable ending. The burst of colors and the haunting score better well makes up for those. this movie brought out that mystic feeling had when I was a kid so for that it accomplished its goal. If a film can make me understand pass it’s beaming facade instead of having characters expositionlize the hell out of it then it done its job of visual storytelling.
The bridge it builds also takes you a ride underneath, drifting down the lost river into sights unseen and imaginations unexplored. No better way to drift into the mysterious ambiguity than that.