Review: ‘Goldfish Game’

"Goldfish Game" is an incoherent jumble of a film that seems to be attempting to tell a dramatic story about the disruption of a weekend in the country by a couple of immigration cops looking for illegal aliens. Unless pic somehow emerges as a cult item, which seems unlikely, not many viewers are ever likely to have the chance to find out.

“Goldfish Game” is an incoherent jumble of a film that seems to be attempting to tell a dramatic story about the disruption of a weekend in the country by a couple of immigration cops looking for illegal aliens. Unless pic somehow emerges as a cult item, which seems unlikely, not many viewers are ever likely to have the chance to find out, with even ancillary prospects looming as bleak.

Pic unfolds in a large country house (in an unspecified country) inhabited by a bunch of extremely disagreeable characters, whose peace and quiet are interrupted by the arrival of a couple of mildly sinister authority figures. The acting is all over the place and at times borderline hysterical, but thesping is restrained in comparison to the excesses of the handheld camerawork, with is an extreme example of audience-unfriendly modishness. “This is a complete mess,” says one of the bad guys at one point, and one can only agree with him.

Goldfish Game

Belgium

Production

A De Filmfabriek-Needcompany production. (International sales: De Filmfabriek, Brussels.) Produced by Peter Missotten. Co-producer, Christel Simons. Directed by Jan Lauwers. Screenplay, Lauwers, Dick Crane.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Maarten Van Der Put, Maarten Vanden Abeele; editor, Nico Leunen; music, Doachim Mann; costume designer, Lot Lemm. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (New Territories), Sept. 5, 2002. English dialogue. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Grace Ellen Barkey, Anneke Bonnema, Timothy Couchman, Dick Crane, Gonzalo Cunill, Hans Peter Dahl, Viviane De Muynck, Victor Lauwers.
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