The Sea & The Flying Fish
Rating: Two stars
Iranian filmmaker Mehrdad Ghaffarzadeh’s drama about a bullied deaf-mute boy who communicates through paintings he secretly creates on the walls of a juvenile-detention facility falls short of expectations. It’s one of those films with a big heart, and some endearing characters, including its creative young protagonist, whose desire to escape increases when he learns his sister is to be married off to pay his father’s debts. The drama arising from attempts by humourless prison officials to erase the paintings and identify the creative culprit before the arrival of an inspector increasingly strains credulity, however, and the film’s production values are distractingly primitive. In fairness, the contrived story does grow on you, and the film succeeds to some degree as a meditation on the healing power of art.