Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Movie Review: Jindabyne

There is no doubt that Australian movies are riding on a high at the moment. And the latest one to hit our cinema screens is the excellent Jindabyne. Four men - Stewart (Gabriel Byrne), Carl (John Howard), Billy (Simon Stone) and Rocco (Stelios Yiakmis) - go on a long-awaited and planned-for trout fishing trip one weekend in a remote area in the Snowy Mountains of Australia. On their first day there, Stewart discovers a naked female body floating head down in the river. What are they to do? They have waited a long time for this trip and are out in the middle of "nowhere". Suppressing the shock of their discovery, they decide to tie the dead girl to a tree next to the river using fishing line around her ankle while she floats in the water to keep the body cool. They continue with their fishing trip. Later, if they are asked why they were delayed in reporting the discovery, they will tell a story they have agreed on. At the end of the trip, they ring the police. It is then they begin to realise there are some pretty serious consequences to their delay in notifying the police. On their return to their hometown of Jindabyne the community is outraged that they have chosen their own leisure over caring for the girl who "needed" them. It's a profound, subtle,a nd deeply moral film. The Australian landscape is powerfully used for effect and the haunting music conveys a constant unease. This is no thriller; it is no action film. Jindabyne is a deep, meditative psychodrama on the way apparently simple choices can have a devastating ripple effect on those around us -- effects we could never have predicted. My Rating: ****1/2 Reviews 'This is Australian cinema at its finest and most mature.' - Jim Schembri/The Age 'a coiled and enigmatic psychodrama that cements Australian director Ray Lawrence's standing as a fine, if not prolific, filmmaker.' - Megan Lehmann/The Hollywood Reporter Content Warning Moderate coarse language; Moderate violence

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