Film Review – The Dry

The Dry (M)

Directed by: Robert Connolly

Starring: Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Twenty years after he is basically run out of his rural home town as a teenager, Federal cop Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) returns for the funeral of his childhood mate Luke Hadler.

The circumstances around Luke’s death are disturbing – it appears he shot and killed his wife, child and then himself in a murder-suicide, likely driven to his actions from the stress of the relentless and ongoing drought that has plagued the farming community.

Falk begins to dig deeper with rookie local cop Greg Raco (Keir O’Donnell), suspicious that there could be more to the incident than everyone thinks. Falk’s presence causes friction with some of the thuggish locals but his investigation uncover another link to the death of a teenage girl 20 years ago, that Falk and Hadler may have been involved in somehow.

This deliberately paced, slow burn Australian mystery thriller is an immersive experience, enhanced by some terrific location filming and cinematography in the widescreen format that capture a real sense of rural community and space.

While the characters in the film seem vaguely sketched at best (the book may perhaps flesh them out further), this film still manages to pull you in with not just one mystery, but two and several red herrings and suspicious locals, revealing the puzzle pieces in expert fashion by director Robert Connolly.

A lot of effort has been put into the structure here with the events that surround the 20 year old mystery neatly woven into the present day story.

Bana does his best brooding as his character is carrying myriad secrets and keeping plenty of information to his chest – as our way into this story, he is a watchable and engaging presence.

The rewatchability may be incredibly low (once you know all the answers, there isn’t anything else left to discover) but while you are watching this for the first time, it is an enthralling and engaging experience that will have you guessing and second-guessing.

One Response to “Film Review – The Dry”

  1. Rae Wright Says:

    Sounds good. I love a historic back story mystery!

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