[KINO12] Colour of the Ocean / Die Farbe des Ozeans (2011) – Spain / Germany
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 29th October 2012
Reviewed as part of 香港歌德學院主辦’s KINO/12 德國電影節
“Colour of the Ocean” is the kind of film that tells an often untold story about the struggles of humanity, the needs for compassion, the question of moral values and how there is a good and bad side to view of making a difference. Although it deals with strong and important issues, this is certainly not a totally successful film, but scores well on realism and the way it goes about its business.
“Colour of the Ocean” deals with the almost unsellable topic of interest in taking special notice of African refugee seeking a new life in Span. It also highlights how a simple chance encounter of a German tourist played by Sabine Tumotoe to can lead to so much more. Making a difference is never easy, therefore as Jose, the border policeman played by Alex Gonzalez noted that there were an out of fuel refugee boat out in the sea and ten ships passed by and only one stopped to help. The result was not important, it is the fact that Sabine took up the spontaneous attitude of helping someone that made the ultimate difference. Director Maggie Peren tries extremely hard to make feelings genuine and even real, but the film essentially lacks an affecting and impacting statement about humanity, life and the sacrifices required to strive for a much better life.
Álex González is a weak actor to headline the key role as the border patrol policeman named Jose. Despite his rugged good looks, Gonzalez fails to make his character ignites as he is constantly overshadowed by both the African refugee Zola (played by Hubert Kounde) and the German tourist Nathalie (played by Sabine Timoteo). Hubert Kounde is able to show how much he wants to survive not only for himself, but mainly to strive for a better life with his son. The way he is single-minded to get off the Canary Islands and the will to escape to the Mainland Spain is quite admirable to say the least. Likewise, Sabine Timotoe is suitably strong as the sympathetic good Samaritan.
Writer/ Director Peren struggles to show all the required complicated on-screen to the full effect and in the process only allow the audience to experience a limited level of emotions. The film have a powerful message about humanity, but lacks the translation of ideas to the big screen. There are times, when the film seems to transcends to a climax, but it never quite reaches those heightened moments of expectations, especially with the sacrifices made by Zola.
All in all, “Colour of the Ocean” is an extremely well-meaning kind of film that deals with an often neglected and controversial topic about the struggles of humanity, dealing with ones’ moral values and the issue of refugees. I once had an ideal about the need to make a difference, change the world or helping people for the greater good. This film does well in reminding us that in order to make a difference, good or bad, it takes us a moment to care, a moment to reflect and a moment to action. For the case of Zola, the unconditional help he received may not be for the better, but no matter what, it gave him and his son, the hope of survival and the will to continue to build for a better future and life. In essence, “Colour of the Ocean” falls short of expressing a greater message and seems to have taken a much safer route. Still, there is a lot to look at within the film and even if this is not a totally successful attempt, it is very much an admirable film to watch. (Neo 2012)
I rated it 7/10