Coming-of-age movies are one of my favorite genres within the literature of film. From Billy Elliot to Paranoid Park and An Education, these are sorts of movies that I truly enjoy. Writer-Director Andrea Arnold is able to deliver a story that is perhaps one of the more ‘honest’ films I have seen in quite some time.

I have very mixed emotions about this movie, mainly due to it’s complex nature. While it does come across as a mixture of Flashdance and a few other teen dramas, Fish Tank manages to create its own atmosphere. The story is about 14 year old Mia who has problems with anyone and everyone, a very angry girl surrounded by a party-going mother who doesn’t seem to care about much else other than having a drink in her.

Perhaps one of the things I dislike about this film is Mia herself. There are times when, as a character, she shines, but there are moments that make her perhaps one of the most annoying and angst-driven people on the face of the planet. I can only stand so much melodrama in a movie, and while Arnold does try and separate the movie from that theme as much as possible, some does manage to leak in.

Yet what Fish Tank did not do, which I’m especially happy about, it spiraling off into one of those cliche plot-lines that has been reused more times than is probably healthy for the film industry. The movie stayed true to its nature and never decided to deviate, and that alone deserves some points.

I believe that Fish Tank is one of those movies you have to see for yourself. There have been mixed reviews of this film, most of them good, but others giving a more judgmental view of the movie. In the end, there isn’t much more I can say, for even after seeing it just yesterday, I still haven’t fully made up my mind as to what my opinion fully is of this movie. Needless to say, that for the most part, upon watching this film, you probably won’t be disappointed.

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