Some films hit a little close to home and Fishbowl uncomfortably did so for me. That being said, it’s one of the best films of the year. A heart-wrenching thriller that will leave you overwhelmed with emotions including laughter, tears, and cringe worthy moments.
Fishbowl was directed by Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa Kinigopoulos from a script written by Piero S. Iberti (The Sinner) and Stephen Kinigopoulos. The film stars Rick Kain (Jack Ryan), Judith Hoag (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) Emily Peachey (The Fault in Our Stars), Caroline Coleman, and Belle Shickle.
Synopsis for Fishbowl
In a small town filled with secrets, three sisters are forced to cling to each other as they cope with loss of their mother and a father who’s growing increasingly obsessed with the rapture he thinks is coming.
I loved everything about this film. It’s hauntingly surreal and terrifying. From the beginning it has a sense of doom and gloom in the atmosphere and you know this film is going to be intense, emotionally intense that is. Losing someone is never easy, especially when it’s someone close to you, like your Mom. Everyone handles that differently and the Dad in Fishbowl handles it the best way he knows how which leads him down a rabbit hole of paranoia, fear, and unhealthy religious beliefs. As if being a teenage girl isn’t hard enough, this leads his daughters to rebel against him and everything else around them as they are left broken from the loss of their mother and confused by the mental state of their father. From personal experience, I know what this is like. When my Grandma passed away, my father sought out religion to help him cope and understand why she out of all people had to go through the pain and suffering she endured. There was nothing wrong with that until it became more of an obsession of seeking out the truth and believing anything that reinforced his world view. At first it was about Grandma, then it was about similar things like the rapture, and so on. It just got worse and worse.
I was captivated by the storytelling in this film and the characters are raw and genuine. It reminded me of pastime favorites such as The Virgin Suicides and SAVED! All three films reflect deeply on how religion can save people people but also be destructive when used as a form of punishment or reinforcement. Emily Peachey, Caroline Coleman, and Belle Shickle delivered riveting, emotionally-heartbreaking performances that will shake to your core. These actresses are pretty new to the business, but have bright careers ahead of them based on what they brought to Fishbowl. I felt a mix of hate and sadness for their father played by Rick Kain. I don’t believe he meant to cause any harm to his daughters, but after losing his wife, his world was shattered and he lost a part of himself, the part that kept him sane. Kain delivered a harsh but beautiful performance. Judith Hoag’s on-screen presence wasn’t much but when she was, she brought warmth and beauty to it.
This film also has beautiful cinematography and hauntingly beautiful imagery that helps set the tone and atmosphere for the story. Along with this, the soundtrack mixed with the perfect lighting and angles had this eerie dreadfulness to it that sent chills down my spine especially when they’re laying in bed waiting for the rapture to happen. There’s certain scenes throughout the film that are imprinted into my brain, especially the end.
Fishbowl is an award-worthy film I think everyone should check out. It’s one of those films that stays with you long after the credits end. The story and characters captivate you and make you feeling everything they’re going through and it’s quite the journey. Fishbowl is now available in select theaters as well as available On Demand from Gravitas Ventures.