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Rolf de Heer,
On a Friday after a horrific train crash, three newsmen in Adelaide must take stock: Nick, a photojournalist, learns he has cancer; Andy, a writer with two children who has a bad relationship with his ex, learns his girlfriend Anna is pregnant; Phil, an editor, realizes he's missing his children's growing up. That afternoon, Meryl, an artist who illustrates sympathy cards and constantly imagines disasters, witnesses a train accident kill a man. At the crash site, she meets Nick, and a relationship flowers over the next three days which makes them both question their lives, wants and needs. Nick's mother, Andy's kids and ex, the dead man's girlfriend, the driver of the train, and his son round out an ensemble of grief and sorrow as each character becomes linked to another through the train accident. Can decisions to act bring hope? Written by
The film had some likable aspects. Perhaps too many for my taste. It felt as though the writer/director was desperately trying to get us to feel the inner conflict of ALL of its characters. Not once, a few times...but all of the time.
This is the job of television, not cinema.
The location of the train station was well chosen and I enjoyed Sascha Horler's performance as the pregnant friend.
I felt as though Justine Clarke's performance was wan. Her reactions to things felt forced, as though the director were trying to vocalise the themes of the film through her protagonist's expressions. I also can't believe that a director can make the wonderful Daniela Farinacci into an unbelievable presence.
I cannot understand the choice of pop music slapped over entire sequences. This is a lazy device, especially where the pop music comes from no place diagetic to the film and/or where the lyrics of the song feel embarrassingly earnest.
That said, there is a breezy quality about the film that evokes the Australian heat and local attitude with originality. It does create an atmosphere of heat and sunshine. Especially with the usage of wonderful animation sequences that rescue the film from complete mediocrity, infusing it with passion and hand-crafted charm.
I am curious why the dialogue feels so overworked. "Who knows if there's a god? Like some guy sitting there up in the sky telling us what to do" or whatever the line was.
Perhaps one of the more embarrassing moments was the friend returning home from cricket with a bunch of flowers to declare to his wife "I'm giving up smoking."
An anti-smoking commercial? A TAC ad with some tasteful animation? I had to leave the cinema at the 50 minute mark -- it was all too much.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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