Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Rover

I try to see as many Australian films as I can to support the local industry. Sometimes the effort is a struggle.

'The Rover' is the latest offering from David Michod whose previous feature was the very impressive 'Animal Kingdom'. I loved the earlier film even though it focussed on an unpleasant criminal family and had hopes for this followup even though the reviews warn that it features considerable violence.

'The Rover' is set in Australia 'ten years after the collapse'. There is no clarification of the nature of the collapse but it would seem to be economic in nature with only US dollars acceptable for commerce and what is shown of the population seeming to live in a state of stupor and general lack of employment. There is also evident failure in law and order.

Against that background one man (Guy Pearce) goes to extraordinary lengths to recover his stolen car accompanied by a stranger (Robert Pattinson) who it turns out is brother to one of the 'carnappers'. His reason for the relentless pursuit is revealed at the film's end.

As it turns out I wasn't that fazed by the violent moments as much as I was turned off somewhat by the endlessly bleak aspects of the film. I didn't really care for any of the characters.

I don't know much about Michod, except that we both attended the same school - at very different times, I'm sure - but his name suggests French antecedents which might account for the style over reality approach to his movie.

My companion Cs called it 'pretentious twaddle' as we departed the cinema. I wasn't as offended by the film as Cs but couldn't say that I enjoyed it.

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