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An Intense Masterpiece
21 August 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Hail is a film that sneaks up on you. The experience of viewing it is conversely pleasant and unnerving - it starts and ends as a love story between ex-con Danny and his partner Leanne, but somewhere in between it is an intense exploration of the criminal or psychotic mind. The characters of Leanne and Danny and those around them are so real that it's terrifying - in fact the film contains characters playing themselves in day-to-day situations that brings the practice of using real-life actors to a whole new level. Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson has spoken about his closeness to the main characters of the film, and this is evident and brings a reality to the film that is rare in cinema.

At times the camera work is explorative and experimental, a bit like a Munch painting or something. At other times it feels like fly-on-the- wall documentary. The film is slowly paced which only makes it more intense as it builds to... well, what? You'll have to find out because to give away the ending of this film should be a crime. Rest assured, it will blow you away - from the moment Anthony appears at Leanne and Danny's apartment, Hail becomes a roller-coaster spiraling out of control and taking the audience with it.

To put it simply, Hail is the most intense film that I have ever laid eyes on. It reminds me of Trash and the other Paul Morrissey films but with a documentary vibe. It is a window into an intense relationship between two incredible people, using a Greek tragedy or Shakespearian story to formulate it's viewing experience. It is not for the faint of heart. People have walked out and to be honest it's no surprise, but in the hardness of this film to watch lies its masterpiece.

Congratulations must be given to all involved in this film. Let us hope that it is given the opportunity to be seen and appreciated as the Australian classic that it is.


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