VOD film review: The Green Sea
James R | On 18, Jul 2021
Director: Randal Plunkett
Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Hazel Doupe, Dermot Ward, Michael Parle
Where to watch The Green Sea online in the UK: Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play / Sky Store
Katharine Isabelle is someone who needs no introduction to genre fans. Her iconic turn in Ginger Snaps, followed by her performance in American Mary, makes her a recognisable talent always worth watching. The Green Sea sees her in slightly unfamiliar territory, as she steps into the shoes of Simone, an ageing rocker turned one-hit-wonder author. Living as a recluse, she’s a downcast, awkward figure whose only reason to connect with the outside world is when her truck needs repairing.
Enter The Kid (Doupe), a young woman who steps out into the road in front of Simone’s truck, and who is taken back to her home to recuperate. What begins as a gesture of compensation and guilt turns into an unlikely friendship, and the pair begin to open up with each other and form a bond. That, in itself, is a familiar but fine premise for a film – The Green Sea, though, isn’t interested in keeping things straightfoward, which is both to its credit and its detriment.
Writer-director Randal Plunkett leans into the arc of redemption and shame, giving Isabelle some excellent scenes to worth with. One of the standout sequences is an uncomfortable yet sweet date with Justin (Dermot Ward), the guy who runs the garage repairing her truck, who happens to be a big fan of her music. But the more things move towards conventional, the more the film dips its toe into fantasy territory, as Plunkett blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s not.
Flashbacks to Simone’s traumatic and dark past are combined with what might be flashforwards to her next book, and the identity of Doupe’s young woman lies somewhere between those two points, creating an ambiguous limbo. Rather than intrigue, though, the narrative ends up frustrating and obfuscating, with the appearance of Michael Parle as a mysterious, sinister Collector only upping the frustration. Atmospheric, The Green Sea might be, but its waters become so muddy that you lose soon sight of where the shore is.