Directed by Craig Lahiff
Ms. Hen watched this film because she saw the preview and she thought it looked like something she would like. She knows that the previews always make a movie look better than it is, as it was in this case.
The story is about a man, Colin, who finds a car crash and a dead body, a suitcase full of money, and he meets a woman who crashed her car to avoid the accident. Colin wants to do the right thing, so he takes the suitcase to the police. His car is broken, so he is looking for a mechanic, but the only police officer in town, Charlie, told him the mechanic won’t be around until the next morning. Charlie offers to let Colin stay with him and his wife at his house since there is no room at any of the motels, because they are all booked for the Battle of the Bands, a marching band competition.
Colin goes back to Charlie’s house and the men trade stories about Iraq. Jina, the only woman in the film, swims naked in the pool in front of Colin when Charlie goes back to the police station to do some work. Jina appears to be unstable, and Charlie is obsessed with Jina and keeps her as his possession.
The story unravels a little too perfectly. Ms. Hen seemed to know exactly what would happen at each turn, that when the body was thrown down the mine, he was not dead, and she knew who would win in the end.
This is an Australian take on film noir, but instead of dark shadows and the light shining through venetian blinds, the sun-drenched landscape of the Outback is the backdrop. The characters are astutely Australian: the men are wholly macho, and Jina is tormented by the men. Ms. Hen has never been to Australia, but she has heard about Australian men, that they can be brutish and misogynistic. Ms. Hen leaned the word for this kind of men when she spent time in France: bogans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogan This word does not exist in America, but Ms. Hen leaned this from her Australian friend.
One of the great moments in this film came when Jina was crossing the street in the middle of the day, running from her boss and she had to cross between the marching bands. It seemed so innocent, a marching band competition, almost like a celebration, or a holiday, when the world of these characters is in the process of falling apart.
Ms. Hen was disappointed in the plot of this film, but she loved seeing the Outback and watching annoying Australian characters. She does not recommend this film if you enjoy a mystery, but if you want to watch a film with great scenery and learn about a different culture, you might like this. She gives this film three feathers up.