Okean (Mikhail Kosyrev-Nesterov, 2008): Russia

Reviewed by Travis Rennaker. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Add a Russian director in Cuba, with a cast from the Caribbean and what do you get? Well the answer my friends is Ocean (Kosyrev-Nesterov, 2008). We see each characters life through the lens of the ocean.  Like the ever pounding surf crashing onto the island nation these characters lives roll on, until an incident happens and their lives crash, much like a waves, hence the allusion.

Set in Cuba with a cast that speaks only Spanish, Ocean tells a tale of love and infatuation between and around a young fisherman Joel (Jorge Luis Castro).  He thinks he’s got it all.  He has the most beautiful girl in town as a lover, he works hard as a fisherman, and lives in seeming paradise with the land to feed him and the days to enjoy.  It can’t really get much better.  Until his girlfriend looses her infatuation with the life in their town and with Joel.  She opts to get married and move away from (Joel and the fishing village) to Havana.  Heart struck Joel moves to Havana and and is immediately sucked in by the lively city.  With the help of some quick connections and nice people he is able to land on his feet, by starting a new job and trains to become a boxer. But Joel will never loose interest in his long lost love from his home town and that interest will lead him around like a dog on a leash.

The cinematography is pretty stunning.  We see constantly movement in Havana’s vibrant colors. This is due to Oleg Lukishyou as the cinematographer.  Like the ocean there is never a lack of movement to be found.  Only slightly less turbulent waters.  But movement is life, and we aren’t lacking for that in the ocean an in Ocean (2008)

The movie flows like some ones life would, with little to no gaps in the timeline. The film rolls along like the waves on the ocean, reaching crests and troughs but always moving.  Like peoples lives, unless they are dead there will always be some type of movement.

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