Life Between The Waters (2017)

A mechanic and his unemployed wife need to figure out where their daughter has gone when she is found missing.

Director: Ardit Sadiku

Cast: Jorida Meta, Kastriot Shehi, Enxhi Cuku, Klodian Hoxha, Ermela Ruri, Simon Shkreli

MPAA Rating: N/A

Fun Fact: A film from Albania.

If you have read my review of The Forgotten Mountain, you might recall that I was hoping that writer and director Ardit Sadiku had other films out for me to view. As I was going through the list of films that I had planned to review next, I noticed that Life Between The Waters came from Albania. As I have been interested in seeing what other films that have come from Albania, I decided that this would be my next project. I got my wish because this is the second film from Ardit Sadiku that I got to review on.

Just like The Forgotten Mountain, this film is excellent and Ardit Sadiku shows that he can make films that are relatable. Both of his films have stories that feature real issues that many people have seen themselves face in their lifetime. Life Between The Waters shows us the story of a family that is at odds. The parents are unhappy with each other and do not really show interest in each other either. This tension spills on to their daughter who is trying to find her way out of the situation. All of the cast in the family is excellent showing their tension to each other. We see the characters feelings not only through words, but more importantly through their actions. In some scenes when the characters are together, it gave me a few white-knuckle moments and it made me think if I should be in the same room with everything going on. That is the type of filmmaking moments that you want to see in a film. You can feel the emotions rise through well directed scenes. Even the moments of silence are effective as you want to get in the mind of the characters and know what they are thinking of. Sadiku gets the right performances that are needed in this film.

Sadiku’s direction is what drives the film. He works well with his performers and he gets the right performances out of them. Jorida Merta and Kastriot Shehi have great chemistry. The most powerful performances have well delivered dialogue and actions. Both of them deliver their lines well but are even better with their body language and emotions. When the couple’s daughter goes missing, that is when the performances really shine. The couple has to work together, and it is heartbreaking to see what they are going through. Sadiku captures these moments through his well-written script that relies on the performances to drive the film.

The technical aspects of the film are beautiful as well. The shots outside in the city feel authentic and the locations were well chosen. Simple scenes like walking in the woods feel like you are walking with the characters. The cinematography from Endrit Shkerta gets my highest praise. The different angles flow well, and it feels like you are sitting with the characters. There are a few scenes were the characters are driving cars. Usually the camera would be in the front of the care where we can see the character’s faces. Instead the camera is sitting in the backseat and it feels like the viewer is sitting in the backseat of the car listening to the conversations. With the focused camera work we get smooth editing that is not choppy and has consistent flow to it. The music composed for the film is absolutely beautiful. Brings emotional scenes to a whole new level and the type of music fits with what is being presented on screen.

Overall, Life Between The Waters is a fantastic film that I highly recommend that you give a shot. Its biggest strength is the realism that is presented on screen. Writer and director Ardit Sadiku gives us another real film that many can relate with. The themes of the film are presented through a well-written script and fantastic direction of performances that feel like the viewer is sitting in the same room. The technical aspects of the film are fantastic as well with top notch cinematography and editing that is creative and also flows well. The music brings out the emotions of what is being presented and everything with this film just works. I recommend that if you want something that is real to check out this film. You might even have had something happen like this in your life and it can be relatable. If you want to see something different or just have an interest in cinema from around the world, give Ardit Sadiku a look at because he has proven to make high quality films.

Life Between The Waters is available on Amazon Prime Video

Verdict: Hit

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