A Fish Called Wanda (Movie) Review

​A Fish Called Wanda is a comedy movie made in 1988 directed by Charles Crichten, produced by Steve Abbott and John Cleese and written by Charles Crichten and John Cleese. The basic plot is diamond lover Wanda and boyfriend Otto are planning to rob a diamond collection alongside George and Ken but try to get them for themselves by informing the police of George to find he’s already hidden them so Wanda decides the best idea is to get close to George’s lawyer Archie Leach.

That fish is called Wanda… How weird.

The movie starts off with opening credits in order to show off what actors were in the main roles which kinda annoys me but practically every movie does it. Honestly it did make me wonder what would happen though and if the characters would work well together. Watching old movies like this definitely reminds you of how overused music is these days. In this movie they keep it nice and calm for casual dialogue and suddenly put on (good) music during tense parts which is the best way, not on at all times (TV ‘soaps’ are all guilty of basically being music ads).

It was kind of hard to root for anyone in this movie (at least at the start), while I had seen plenty of stories where you follow the bad guy this seemed a bit dumb at first. However I had no right to judge a movie when you could say it hadn’t truly started yet. After all its not until Wanda starts to get closer to George’s lawyer Archie Leach that one of the people that both helped write and produce this starts becoming far more important to the plot.

Wanda has the same IQ as her fish counterpart it seems. I guess thats whats the funny thing.

The movie is surprisingly serious about her attempts to get the diamonds but strangely  changed tone completely whenever she meets with Archie the 2nd time. Made you wonder what sort of thing would happen considering Archie was married and Wanda’s boyfriend Otto wasn’t exactly normal. In fact stuff happened shortly afterwards that almost seemed to foreshadow it (if something did happen).

I did start to wonder if it had been wrongly put in the wrong genre because of the person who wrote it (who is known for starring in comedies), considering the age of the movie though perhaps its just the sort of comedy you don’t see these days. I personally found things a bit awkward instead especially since you obviously know way before the other characters do.

In fact nearing an hour through the movie I couldn’t help but feel it was more of an awkward romantic movie, it really depended on how it ended though. I do admit there were parts I found amusing like what happened to Ken a few times but that was really it. At least the characters were decently written, you felt sorry for the when the inevitable happens (although dog lovers may hate Ken).

The last part of the movie was a little different than I had imagined but it was alright, some things that could’ve been different but the end is almost what I had guessed early on. Weird how it tells you what happened to the main characters after the movie via text as if it happened a really long time ago but it was ok.

Overall I could maybe recommend it if you watch it as an awkward romantic movie instead of a comedy since the comedy (if any) isn’t for anyone and wasn’t very noticeable to me.


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