The Green Sea

The Green Sea 2021 Explained- Forgiveness And Acceptance Require Patience And Pennance

The Green Sea starring Katharine Isabelle and Hazel Doupe is a gorgeous piece of ruminative art. It portrays the power of the human spirit and the depth of despair it can take to achieve forgiveness. Quiet and thoughtful despite episodes of rage and inhuman howling, The Green Sea is a look at one woman’s journey to reclaim her life. It is about self-reflection, acceptance, and above all, love. Strangely similar in tone to The Wanting Mare, there is a visceral sadness to The Green Sea that permeates every moment of the film. Katharine Elizabeth, best known for Ginger Snaps and American Mary, does her best work wringing pain from every glance, swallow of vodka and slurred curse word. Her Simone isn’t just spiraling, she is circling the drain.

Simone is an American writer and retired heavy metal musician who lives alone in Ireland. She drinks day and night while making half-hearted attempts at writing a second book. Isolated from the world, she is running out of time and money. She holds onto her home and old Jeep like a lifeline to the past. After a disastrous encounter in town finds her drunk again and making poor decisions; she drives home and hits a teenage girl. That girl changes everything for Simone in the emotional fairytale written and directed by Randal Plunkett.

The film, broken into distinct parts like chapters in the book Simone should be writing, conveys Simone’s tragic life in bits and pieces doled out slowly through most of the film. Simone drinks for a reason. She is self-destructive and angry. The more time the strange teenager spends with her, the more Simone remembers. That process is arduous and taxing but could be rewarding if she would embrace the goodness that still exists in the world. As Simone finds herself unable to stem the tide of memory, she learns the young woman is more than she seems. Figuratively and literally, the girl helps Simone clean up her house and her life.

What happens at the end of The Green Sea?

At the end of The Green Sea, we learn Simone had a family that was destroyed. Partly that was her fault and partly a terrible accident that she blames herself for. Booze made her a violent drunk who took her rage out on those she should treat the kindest. In flashbacks, seen first in confusing jumbled glances and later in complete sequences, we learn she was married with a daughter. These are Simone’s memories, so they play back like a mixed tape of her worst transgressions. Very little of her happy memories return, only those where she screams at her family and is physically abusive. The only moments of peace Simone find early in the film are in the woods. The implication is this was a special place for her family. You get the impression they were happy once.

Simone’s husband and she fought, and she pushed him, resulting in a fall and a bloody head wound. He was passed out on the floor, and her daughter seeing her daughter hurt, ran out of the house away from her mother. Unfortunately, a car was speeding by at the same time and ran her down, killing her. Simone’s husband recovered and came out of the house to find Simone in the road with their badly injured daughter. Simone blamed herself for the accident and for mistreating her family. That caused her to retreat into a bottle. However, by the end of The Green Sea, she had found her way back thanks to the mysterious young woman and her enigmatic handler.

Who is The Kid and The Collector?

The teen girl, Simone, runs down at the beginning of the film does not have a name beyond “The Kid”. Simone initially says she doesn’t want to know her name, and later we learn she doesn’t have one. The mysterious girl is naive but capable of boundless amounts of patience and hope. Regardless of how low Simone sinks, she stays by her side, relentlessly caring. As the film progresses, a strange man calling himself The Collector(Michael Parle) begins appearing ominously. In the film’s finale, we learn he is there to collect The Kid, who has completed her task. There are others like her, and like baby sea turtles who must undertake a harrowing trek to the ocean after birth, she has to guide Simone.

The Kid represents a second chance for Simone. It is no mistake that she is approximately the same age Simone’s daughter would have been. Whether she exists for anyone but Simone is ambiguous. No one in town interacts with her or mentions her, so she may be merely a spiritual guide for Simone alone. The Kid who chooses to take Simone as her name shortly before disappearing back into the sea with the other special children is a rebirth of sorts.

The Collector, who all along had appeared to be dangerous, was actually a spiritual guide to assist the children in their tasks and then usher them back home. Finally, Simone completes her transformation when she places the sea turtle figurine on her daughter’s grave. Then, having come to terms with what happened to her family and her role, she could complete her book and move on to a new life.

The Green Sea is a powerful statement on endurance. Humans are capable of such pain and violence. But, sometimes, when that pain is too great, it gets focused inwards. This is what happened to Simone. The way back to the world was painful and nearly impossible without help. The Kid provided the beacon she needed when the darkness was too thick. You can catch The Green Sea on VOD today and read our full review here.

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