Cracks is an interesting and disturbing look at how rich societies abandon their kids, and how those that have been abandoned cope by creating their own little family groups and lifting up an older figure to be their surrogate mother.
Set in an exclusive boarding school in the 1930’s, on an island accessible only by ferry, the select group of girls that the film focuses on are enamored with there diving instructor Miss G.
The problem is that Miss G is a product of the schools isolation – having been a former student – and whilst she shares stories of her worldly adventures with her group of dive students, the reality it seems is that she has never left the school, and in fact doesn’t know how to cope in ‘real’ society.
Added to he lack of social skills is her ever increasing sexual awareness and fixation on the older dive team member, and de-facto leader, Di. Miss G spends inappropriate time with Di, building a close relationship that pushes the boundaries of professional conduct.
But before Miss G is able to cross any lines, a daughter of Spanish Royalty is abandoned at the school, with instructions that she should be made part of the exclusive dive team. The beautiful and talented Fiamma soon becomes Miss G’s main fixation and Di is left out in the cold, fuming and planning her revenge.
Fiamma however is not so easily seduced by Miss G’s charms and in-fact soon sees through her lies, and the cracks start to form in Miss G’s facade.
Whilst Cracks is a wonderfully filmed and acted period drama – with a perverse sexual twist – it’s deviations from the original source material hint at a lot more going on than is actually given screen time and when the story is neatly wrapped up in the end, you’re left wondering why the writers or director didn’t make more of the possibilities that the back-story (which is implied) could have provided.
As such, Cracks never manages to lift itself above the specter of being a sexualised rip-off of The Lord of the Flies.
Reviewed by: Jonathan