#REVIEW: “LITTLE FISH”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Based on Aja Gabel’s Short Story of the same name, Little Fish is a stunning Sci-Fi-Romance that questions if love and identity outlive memory. Set in the future, a memory loss virus is spreading across the world. With no definite cure, young Seattle couple Emma (Olivia Cooke) and Jude (Jack O’Connell) fight to save their relationship. However, their relationship becomes threatened when Jude begins showing symptoms.
It’s a beautiful film filled with big moments that creep up on you. Chad Hartigan’s direction and Mattson Tomlin’s Script focuses on the profound love of the protagonists despite being a Sci-Fi genre story. In doing so, the audience becomes emotionally invested. Hartigan provides an authentic look at love through quiet, intimate moments. It’s these moments that crawl under your skin and provoke existential questions about life and love.
These moments are brought alive by perfect Casting. Cooke and O’Connell’s palpable chemistry has us rooting for this couple no matter what. The two are masters of the power dynamics within the Script and the dynamics within their couple’s romantic relationship. This is also thanks to the talents of Tomlin, whose Script is loaded with raw scenes between Emma and Jude. Little Fish not only is a fresh take on the Sci-Fi genre but also something new for the Romance genre. Tomlin might focus on the question of love outliving memory, but he also looks at the couple as individuals. In doing so, he manages to take this Film further to question our identity, or who we are, without our memories.
Emma is a tough character to negotiate because she hides much of her worry from Jude. Yet, Cooke manages to find subtle ways of showing Emma’s vulnerability at integral moments. Cooke does this by creating silence in a scene and — most impressively — with a single look that clearly expresses Emma’s fear. O’Connell is captivating in the scenes where Jude grapples with his deteriorating memory. He has an impressive ability to meticulously switch between certainty and confusion.
Overall, Little Fish is an existential story that will haunt you long after watching.
LITTLE FISH will be available on IFC Films Unlimited June 2, 2021.