Symbolism can be very powerful. It hints at ideas greater than the world as it is presented in front of our eyes. The Green Sea bases its premise on symbolism; that of returning to the ocean, of a world beyond our understanding, and it is here in that symbolism where the film presents a long-winded redemption arc for an unsavory main character Simone. Throughout the duration of the movie, ambiguous clues are given to this primordial return, such as an ocean painting displayed in Simone’s house, and brief footage of green sea turtles rushing on the shore towards the unknown. It opens a mystery which gradually unravels more questions than answers. This is perhaps the strongest characteristic of the film, aside from death metal music in the first half, because the ambiguity of the symbolism portrayed allows our imaginations to fill-in the spaces where the story neglects to give concrete explanations.
It must be expressed that the worst aspects of alcoholism are shown in The Green Sea. The anti-hero Simone, which the story is based around, is brutally represented as a misanthropic drunk who brings nothing but shame and hardship to herself. Her ill-mannered nature is ruthlessly portrayed over and over again to such an extent that the viewer may think that there is no redemption possible for her character. It is only through caring for others where she begins to find emancipation from her destructive behavior. By this point, most of the movie has concluded and the mystery has been partially explained in a mystical twist.
For the debut film from Randal Plunkett, The Green Sea mostly does everything well. The only quibble would be this slow-burn redemption arc might be hard for some people to sit through because it takes many little steps before taking a large one in its conclusion. However, The Green Sea satiates short attention spans by the addition of beautiful cinematography of Irish landscapes, death metal music, and very intelligible Irish accents. It would also be a great film to show people to deter them from becoming destructive alcoholics. Hopefully this is just the first of more to come from Randal Plunkett as he refines his craft. It would be exciting if he’s able to do more with the metal subculture in his future films.