A schoolteacher haunted by memories of the students he lost in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, "Ocean of an Old Man" has insufficient ideas to fill out its running time.
A well-meaning study of an old schoolteacher haunted by memories of the young students he lost in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, “Ocean of an Old Man” has insufficient ideas to fill out its feature-length running time. A rare movie shot in the Andaman Islands devastated by the disaster, pic boasts attractively lensed images of the old man’s wanderings along coastlines and hinterlands that could have worked much more effectively as an hourlong telepic. Scattered fest engagements look the best bet in the wake of pic’s world preem at Pusan.
In the 15 minutes before the film’s main title appears, an old man in a loincloth (veteran Indian thesp Tom Alter) emerges from a bunker, rings a rusty old school bell and sees the faces of his deceased students in the moon. Later, he takes roll call in an empty classroom and remembers, in elegant black-and-white sequences, his lost daughter and wife. Alone for much of the duration, Alter brings the right look to the emotionally destroyed oldster, but the screenplay requires him to go through the same basic motions far too many times. Tech work is pro.