- BOTTOM LINE
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
It is based on real horrific incidents that happened in the late eighties. Ethiopian Jews are tortured and killed by the local Muslim regime. A Mossad agent and his team help the refugees to reach safely to Israel. The Red Sea Diving Resort showcases a glimpse of how it all happened.
Chris Evans, as an Israel Mossad agent is perfect looks-wise. He is effective in the part and is one among the few actors who put up a semblance of an act. Unfortunately, the writing and direction let him down. They are superficial and lack depth and don’t help Chris Evans cause in creating an impact.
It is almost a one dimensional part with a small jail sequence offering a dash of real emotional underpinning. The rest of the act involves feeling tense in rescue missions that happen one after the other.
Gideon Raff directs the Red Sea Diving Resort. His work on such a heart touching and thrilling content are lacklustre and devoid of any tension.
The opening stretch alone sets the tone of what is to follow for the rest of the film. It is flat and lacks the thrill factor. We also don’t feel the emotion behind the cruelty that is on display. The subsequent planning and recruiting of the team members look mechanical with various actors coming together and doing their bits. There is no sense of team or camaraderie among them.
Another problem is the presence of many characters who do nothing, except showing up. They do look interesting but are not explored enough or used to the fullest extent. Greg Kinnear is a primary example of this.
There are some engaging moments in the middle parts which stop The Red Sea Diving Resort from being an unbearable outing. However, the formulaic approach with no tension and gripping narration mean even they are flat. It is that the rest is even more flat, which makes these parts shine in comparison.
The lack of creation of a tension-filled environment under the circumstances the various characters are in is the most significant flaw of the movie. Just like the opening, the climax perfectly sums up the problem with the film. The way the whole take-off scene is written and executed is lacklustre, to say the least.
There are a few nude shots of lead actors which could have been entirely done away. The narrative wouldn’t have had any effect at all. They are that pointless. And that makes us wonder about the seriousness of the whole exercise, taking such a heart-wrenching backdrop.
Overall, The Red Sea Diving Resort comes across as a wannabe superficial movie that is a cross between Argo and The Blood Diamond. It lacks the seriousness and thrill of both of those movies. Avoid it, even if you are a fan of Chris Evans.
The movie comprises of all proper names with either Oscars wins or nominations in their kitty. There is Ben Kingsley, Michael K Williams, Greg Kinnear, and Alessandro Nivola, to name a few. However, they are given half baked, predictable, and formulaic roles.
The poor writing and direction don’t give them scope to shine. It looks as if they are all part of the movie only for a paycheck and go through the routine with least bit of interest. Among the mentioned names, only Alessandro Nivola has something more than the usual. He helps in bringing out the conflict with the lead actor, but, once again, it is weakly brought out, and seems to end abruptly.
Music and Other Departments?
Yet another Oscar-winning name associated with the movie is music composer Mychael Danna. It is also a perfunctory effort at best and lacks heart. The cinematography Roberto Schaefer is decent. It is one of the okay parts of the movie, although there is nothing special at work here too. The director Gideon Raff also doubles up as the writer, which is why he should get the highest blame for the way the movie has turned out eventually.
The casting of Big Names
Few Engaging Parts
No Emotional Connection
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Siddartha Toleti