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PLOT: An Australian federal agent (Eric Bana) returns to his hometown, which is within the midst of a drought, to analyze the demise of his childhood greatest buddy. Ostensibly a murder-suicide, his investigation is difficult by the truth that, as a teen, he was as soon as the prime suspect within the homicide of a younger lady – and most of the townsfolk are nonetheless satisfied he’s responsible.
REVIEW: THE DRY marks Eric Bana’s first Australian movie in years and, maybe not surprisingly, this adaptation of Jane Harper’s well-regarded novel wound up turning into the largest Australian hit of the 12 months in 2020. It’s the seventeenth highest-grossing Australian movie of all time. It’s a disgrace this isn’t getting a serious big-screen launch right here as Robert Connolly’s moody thriller was clearly designed with the theatrical expertise in thoughts.
In recent times, character-driven dramas have turn out to be fairly uncommon on the large display screen. As an alternative, they’re usually limited-run collection like The Undoing, The Flight Attendant, and Bana’s personal Soiled John. Perhaps a decade in the past all of them would have been movies. Whereas the restricted collection facet offers the characters extra nuance, there’s one thing to be stated for a stable two-hour one-and-done thriller. In that means, The Dry is pleasingly retro, with Bana having his greatest main position in years because the tormented Agent Aaron Falk.
Connolly, who additionally wrote the screenplay with Harry Cripps, takes his time unfolding the thriller. The main focus is simply as a lot on Falk’s interactions with the individuals dwelling within the fictional Kiewarra as on the crime itself, making the film all of the extra atmospheric. If it has a failing its that it’s maybe a bit of too reliant on flashbacks to indicate what occurred in Falk’s youth, a method I’ve at all times discovered works higher on the web page than on movie.
Nonetheless, the story is intriguing and Bana appears to relish sinking his tooth into this type of position. It’s been quiet few years for him exterior of Soiled John and it’s good to see him again in a heroic main half. I’ve at all times thought he was top-of-the-line actors within the biz. The remainder of the solid is equally good, with The Highway Warrior’s Bruce Spence exhibiting up because the grieving father of Bana’s buddy, whereas Genevieve O’Reilly is Bana’s love curiosity, one other childhood buddy of his and one of many few that believes he’s harmless. James Frecheville (from Animal Kingdom) is among the rogue’s gallery of suspects Bana has to work his means via, whereas John Polson, a famous Australian director (he did Swimfan and the Robert DeNiro thriller Disguise and Search) has a extremely good half as one other buddy of Bana’s, traumatized by a current house invasion.
Probably the most notable issues about The Dry is the look, with it being shot in ultra-wide 2:35:1 by DP Stefan Duscio, who offers the film an epic really feel. Duscio, who additionally shot Leigh Whannel’s Improve and The Invisible Man, is the film’s MVP, with the imagery right here fairly gorgeous for a thriller – once more – making one want this was getting a large theatrical launch.
Whereas low-key in some methods, The Dry is a stable little thriller and it is a disgrace extra films like this aren’t being made. There’s one thing to be stated for these sorts of character-driven films that do their job in two hours slightly than eight episodes (I keep that The Flight Attendant would have been a GREAT film whether or not than simply an OK present). I hope extra films like this get made, and followers of Bana and thrillers typically, ought to for positive test this out. I actually loved it.
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