Screenwriter and producer Alan Bleasdale presents this melancholic social realist drama that highlights the realism of living inside a children’s home. Notably at the same time focusing on the traumas, dreams, revelations and harsh truths that follow the children that grow up in such a downcast environment. This 1998 drama follows the narrative of David (Laurence Kinlan), a 13-year-old child whose eeriness and sorrowful blues can be detected within the storyline.
The care home consists of some interesting characters and antagonists, for instance, Craig played by Stuart Dannell-Foran, can be seen to change from enemy to the main protagonists. The audience witnesses how the antagonists become arguably trapped, hurt and even sabotaged by the confines of the care home and the erratic emotions that daunt them. Soft Sand, Blue Sea opens us into a drama that expresses tragedy and the doom that follows the antagonists as well as the heroines of this unpleasant tale; and how it’s up to the character to change their fate.
Probably not for the optimists, this drama concentrates on David and the trauma that follows him. The audience learns that David has some family connection, like most of the children in the care home do, but due to the parent’s lack of interest- the children have been placed within the home. The emptiness of living in the children’s home can be seen to tamper the kid’s self-esteem, causing them to rebel to gain a hope of attention and recognition, as well as looking for means of escapism i.e. escaping to the beach. The emptiness can be seen vividly prominent with David and how a dark blue faded vision haunts him with flashbacks and memories, unlike the clear blue sea that encourages hope for David. Equally allowing the audience to understand the true importance of the beach, and how it uplifts the children and allows the sea to swiftly remove all their pains and anguish.
If you are fond of none glossy sweet fairy-tales and fancy a bit of realism, this drama really does invite you to witness the real glimpse of what it’s really like to live in a children’s home.
Dir: Pip Broughton
Scr: Terry McDonagh, Ben Gibney, Peter Freeman
Pro: Keith Thompson, Alan Bleasdale
Starring: Laurence Kinlan, Kevin McCauley, Julia Ford, Aimee Mulligan
Country: United Kingdom / Ireland
Runtime: 98 minutes
Available on DVD 4th June 2018