The film opens by informing us that it has been ten years since the collapse, we surmise that it was an economic collapse! Its scarily how it reflects a very believable future and one can imagine that the world could easily be heading into a dystopian community - so expertly demonstrated in this Australian movie. If most of the austerity-obsessed governments of today do not change course from their illegal wars and there willingness to line the pockets of the rich then god help us all - we could all be hanging from telegraph poles!
You will recognise writer, director and producer David Michod from his previous award-winning debut feature film Animal Kingdom (2010) a brilliant study of Melbourne’s criminal underbelly that was inspired by a real life family. Similar to this previous movie, The Rover (2014) has some well-defined characters that all live on the edge of society and are portrayed with great panache, right down to even the smallest parts.
|Rey owes his brother - big time.|
The main character is Eric, a man more than capable of killing in cold blood with little remorse; he is a man with anger problems who seems to find the situation of surviving in an apocalyptic landscape, where life appears to be worthless, quite normal. Even a goods train has armed mercenaries to guard it! During the course of the film we find out that Eric is an ex soldier and farmer whose wife is dead and his only possession is his car. A trio of criminals steals the vehicle and Eric sets out to get it back at all costs. During a road trip through thinly populated dirt towns and across the desolate barren landscape’s to catch the perpetrators he meets up with Rey, whose brother is one of the crooks and who left him for dead following a botched robbery. It’s the dynamics between Eric and the dim witted Rey that forms the basic narrative of this movie.
A very hard-faced film that’s full of subtext, tone and tension, made even more atmospheric by the female DOP Natasha Braier who manages to make the landscape a character in its own right, along with a great soundtrack from Antony Partos, but at certain points it can be a very emotional movie in a quite unique way. The films success owes a lot to it’s casting and as I’ve said its full of strange characters but the two main leads are superb. Guy Pearce, who Michod admits he wrote the part for, plays Eric, a difficult part for any actor that’s made to look easy by the versatile Pearce. The biggest surprise is Robert Pattinson, best known for his role in the Twilight Trilogy, who is extraordinary good as Rey and bears no resemblance to his normal heartthrob persona instead giving what I would think is his best role to date. Add this movie to your ‘must see list’ and I can guarantee you will not regret it.