Strangerland (2015)

Strangerland (2015)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Joseph Fiennes, Meyne Wyatt, Maddison Brown, Nicholas Hamilton, Sean Keenan.

Plot: A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past.

My Review and Thoughts:

A nice thick, twisted, psychological drama, filled with mystery, and intrigue. Flawless acting. This is a tight film of dread. A grand story of unanswered questions.

A husband, Matthew, and his wife, Catherine, along with their two kids, Lily and Tommy move to a small Australian town. They are running from their past. Their 15 year old daughter Lily had a relationship with her teacher. The ordeal led to violence involving the teacher and the father. To rid themselves of the situation, the family decide to leave there old town. Once in their new surroundings both kids mysteriously disappear without a trace. The local police Detective, Rae, enters the ordeal to solve the disappearance of the kids. Soon all the secrets and lies, and accusations from town folk. Small town gossip, and a thick mix of confusion, add a spiraling twist of a mystery.

A unique blend of storytelling. A dysfunctional family. A father over shadowed by violence. A mother confused and lost as she finds out truths about her daughter. This all plays out in a wonderful mix of many genres of film.

A brilliant cast. The amazing Nicole Kidman. She creates a perfection in her character. She makes you believe. She is the emotionally confused mother. She is breathtaking.  One of her best performances ever. She deserves awards for this part. I was floored by her. She really created the reality of her character. Also starring the one and only Joseph Fiennes, as the violent tempered husband. He creates an angry brilliance. Also starring the wonderful and multi-talented Hugo Weaving. Most will know him from The Matrix trilogy, as Agent Smith. Hugo is a fantastic and extraordinary actor that has been acting since the 80's. I have to mention a phenomenal actor who plays the character of Burtie, Meyne Wyatt. Wyatt is stunning in the part. He is, truly a gifted performer. Also both Maddison Brown and Nicholas Hamilton as the kids are great performers. Brown created the perfect angst teenage girl, sexually active, and equally damaged. Hamilton made you believe through his acting. The character of the young boy, made to leave his old life, uprooted. No one listening or paying attention to what he needs or wants. Both of them as sister and brother came off as real.

I have to ultimately mention the unnerving plot twists. The deeper recesses of what is the real truth about the daughter. What happened in her past? What darker secrets does the family hold? I think that is one of the defining moments of the film. The darker tones and unanswered questions.

Directed by Kim Farrant. This being her first direction of a major motion picture, and boy did she create a brilliant, haunting thriller? She did an amazing job at crafting a film that truly lingers with you.

I think what makes this film stand out to me, is it’s a character study of individuals. The emotional realities, and inner demons of a personal struggle. The ideas of what is the truth. The belittling of grownups against each other. The damage of a marriage. But most of all the ideas of the, “What If’s”, or the, “I should of done this?” This also displays the hatred, or asinine realities of just how mean people can be to each other.

I can't speak highly enough about this film. It's very dark. Very haunting. Very mysterious. It creates its own persona. A mixture of deep thoughts, actions, and a brutal reality of the unknown. A very tense ordeal. Highly recommended.