Arnon Grunberg


Short and dark

The movie “Fish Tank” by Andrea Arnold is set in the English lower class, where drinking and fucking are the favorite pastimes and the tracksuit is still the favorite outfit.
A fifteen-year-old girl (Mia) falls in love with her mother’s lover, who is slightly less lower class than she and her mother are.
Unfortunately the lover has the same shortcomings that most men have who start a fling with teenage girls; he is married and has a lovely child himself.
What keeps the movie interesting, besides the actress who plays Mia, Katie Jarvis, is the continuous threat of violence and sexual aggression, and the subdued fight between mother and daughter for the same man.
“Fish Thank” offers a few lessons, not all of them very surprising.
The future of a romantic affair between a fifteen-year-old girl and a married man is short and dark.
A mother who is competing with her fifteen-year-old girl will lose.
Fucking is drinking with other means, as far as the English working class is concerned.