Bombay Beach Reviews
The families and drifters that call Bombay Beach home might not be typical - American families torn apart by debt, depression, drugs - old timers who have lost contact with their families, and who smuggle cigarettes out from the Indian reservations because they're untaxed there - men and women populate this film whom most would walk away from, people you would rather not know in life - and imbues them with impoverished dignity. There is also great sadness in this: the young boy, whose parents drug their child on Ritalin and other medicines because the doctors assure them it is the only way to keep their son calm, and who is seen zoned out, lost in his own mental turmoil, often sleepy when he should be alert - and it is this son who is at the centre of two of the best 'set-pieces' in this film: his imaginary adventure on a boat stranded in the sand, and a dance sequence involving a fire-truck. Such sequences seem to suggest that this boy should be allowed to be free, to do as he wishes, because in his own imagination he is free - and such a message is true. It is in these sequences that he comes truly to life.
The film is filled with great music too, courtesy of the band Beirut, and Bob Dylan.