“The Red Turtle” shares the basic plot points of “Castaway” and “Robinson Crusoe” but there’s not a volleyball or man Friday in sight just a giant turtle and allegories galore.
Director Michael Dudok de Wit has made what amounts to a silent film—there’s no dialogue, only hypnotic visuals coupled with the sounds of nature, a beautiful score from Laurent Perez del Mar and the occasional grunt from it’s main character—about a man shipwrecked on a deserted island with only a giant red turtle for company.
“The Red Turtle” is a very simple film, but achieving beautifully pure simplicity like this is harder than it looks. In its humble story are broad, primal issues of man’s relationship to nature are silently explored, adding subtext to this tale of isolation. It’s elegant and poetic; its “The Old Man and the Sea” with a turtle, a movie that embraces it metaphysical leanings as well as raw emotion. It’s not a movie for children or for people looking for easily answers to life’s existential questions. It’s art house animation, a treat for the eyes as well as the brain.