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Brett Sprague is a violent and psychopathic man, who is released on parole after serving a sentence for assault. As he returns to his family house and we watch him and his brothers, Stevie and Glenn, for the next 24 hours, it becomes clear this day will not end well. Written by
Rowan Wood's film The Boys is a cracking little drama from Australia, driven by some excellent performances and notable for an early appearance from David Wenham & Toni Collette on screen together before they hit it big over in the states.
This film is intense, taken as a slow burning drama it works incredibly well as a portrait of a working class Australian family tearing itself apart over the course of a single day. It culminates in an ending that leaves the viewer cold, featuring intertwined cut-scenes strewn throughout the film which show later consequences only serving to intensify the lack of resolution and bleakness present as the credits start to roll.
As a director Rowan Woods adds some nice touches though the main focus of the film is on developing the characters present. The opening sequences feature an almost surrealistic focus on an everyday Australian household setting and the objects within it, something quite unknown to me in the realms of film which sets a spooky tone to the minimalist soundtrack composed by The Necks. Grainy shots of the city at night between sequences further this, capturing perfectly the maudlin vibes I know so well.
The Boys is a very well made film, one of the most accomplished dramas to have come out of Australia. Being born on these shores personally and having known people who live like this it becomes all the more relevant. It is bleak but despite this there is an uneasy humor throughout, the plight of the ultimately pathetic characters striking an ambiguity where you don't know whether to laugh or feel disturbed.
This is life... is it not?
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