Movie review / ‘Sink or Swim’ (M)

Share Canberra's trusted news:
“Sink or Swim”… The screenplay combines pathos and humour effectively enough to flesh out those stories, but not enough for a truly satisfying cinematic meal.

“Sink or Swim” (M) ***

IN March, I gave three stars to a British film about the members of a men’s synchronised swimming team seeking emotional fulfilment by competing in a world championship. 

That concept – I can’t imagine a mere two films having the clout to constitute a genre – moves east across the Channel in director Gilles Lellouche’s realisation of a feature debut screenplay by Ahmed Hamidi. 

“Sink or Swim” takes rather more time to evolve, deliver its message and wind itself down than did the British “Swimming With Men”. 

Its structure involves eight middle-aged blokes from a provincial city who coalesce themselves into a team, endure the rigours of an activity that few would consider to be a sport, travel to a World Championship in Norway, wonder on their return why French media have completely ignored their success then resume the hum-drummity of their previous lives a little bit wiser, a little bit more mature. 

For synch-swimming fans, “Sink Or Swim” offers a small collection of moments telling about the run-up to the contest. Its more-substantial purpose is to lay out the personal stories of its eight characters, together with their families and the two women who train them. Movies exploring the human condition serve a worthy function but sometimes fail to satisfy appetites craving entertainment. This is one such.

The screenplay combines pathos and humour effectively enough to flesh out those stories, but not enough for a truly satisfying cinematic meal – entrée, main course, dessert. Pity. 

At Palace Electric

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

REVIEW OVERVIEW
“Sink or Swim” (M) ***
Previous articleBurglars steal crocodile from reptile zoo
Next articleMovie review / ‘Apollo 11’ (G)
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply