Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Download Ex Machina
Before the DVD release on 8th June
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Take a survey for the chance to win an iPad
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Benny Parrish
Red
CeeJay.
Directors
Alma Har'el.
Screenwriters
Running Time
80 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
London Road
4 Star Empire Rating
Les Combattants
3 Star Empire Rating
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story Of Cannon Films
4 Star Empire Rating
Poltergeist
2 Star Empire Rating
Return To Sender
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Mad Max: Fury Road
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating

Bombay Beach
Californian dreaming


submit to reddit


Plot
Filmed against the backdrop of the impoverished Salton Sea. Bombay Beach, once promised to be a prosperous holiday destination, now amounts to nothing more than derelict buildings that reflect the lives of the hopeless misfits that occupy the town. The documentary focuses on the lives of three of the inhabitants; Benny Parrish, a young boy troubled with bipolar disorder, CeeJay Thompson, an aspiring athlete and old timer Red.


Review
Bombay Beach
Dreamlike in tone and with a bleached, almost colourless palette, Bombay Beach follows an adorable if Ritalin-fuelled boy called Benny, a lovelorn high-school football star named CeeJay and Red, an octogenarian who has the snap and smarts that occasionally puts you in mind of a virulent Jerry Lee Lewis. It’s hard to believe this once prosperous Californian town set on a rift lake called The Salton Sea is a living example of modern life in America, ravaged by poverty, cigarettes and booze, the broken-down buildings a metaphor for the disintegration of the inhabitants’ lives. Alma Har’el, however, uncovers the place’s raw beauty with a blend of observational work and passages of choreographed dance. It sounds absurd, but it emits a rare and powerful hold, making it quite unforgettable.


Verdict
The fact that Alma Har’el is still stuck in music video director mode makes for an interesting new breed of documentary.


Reviewed by Phil Wilding

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Bombay Beach
Empire Star Rating

Dream Like? Or just lacking focus?

Interesting little documentary about an impoverished seaside town inhabited by social misfits seeking either refuge or redemption from a troubled back story, although it’s curious that it’s “dream-like” quality seems to have somehow become a euphemism for being shot out of focus – suggesting that there’s an inherent bias amongst some critics for certain fare compared to others. I was prepared to let this go though as the footage captured throughout feels incredibly genuine and didn’t at any mom... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 16:36, 02 April 2012 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Who Are The New Mutants?
Fox’s X-Men spin-off features a bunch of fresh faces. Here’s what you need to know...

Stoical Supermen: 10 Quiet Heroes That Get Stuff Done
Silent but deadly...

Ana Lily Amirpour On A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
'There's nothing sexier than a vampire...'

Rick Baker: Creature By Creature
The make-up effects titan on his greatest creations

12 Of The Weirdest Things Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Done On Camera
Outside of his movies, that is...

Spooks: An Oral History
Cast and crew on the spy smash

Barbarians And Battletrucks: The Weird World Of Mad Max Knock-Offs
20 diversions along the Fury Road

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe and save 48%

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)