Newcomers to the remote Australian desert town of Nathgari, Catherine and Matthew Parker's lives are flung into crisis when they discover their two teenage kids, Tommy and Lily, have mysteriously disappeared just before a massive dust storm hits. With Nathgari eerily smothered in red dust and darkness, the townsfolk join the search led by local cop, David Rae. It soon becomes apparent that something terrible may have happened to Tommy and Lily. Suspicions run riot, rumours spread and public opinion turns savagely against the Parkers. With temperatures rising and the chances of survival plummeting with each passing day, Catherine and Matthew find themselves pushed to the brink as they struggle to survive the mystery of their children's fate. Written by
Atmospheric and intriguing, if not especially moving or satisfying...
Trouble is stirred up in a stifling hot Australian desert town after the two children of new arrivals Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes go missing...and everyone who came into contact with them becomes a suspect in their disappearance. Well-acted study of stunted small town lives, with Nicole Kidman particularly gripping as the sad, desperate mother of the kids (a promiscuous teenage girl and her restless younger brother). Some of the drama has a prickly edge, and the dialogue is strong, however the supporting characters are not a terribly interesting lot, while the simmering tempers in this dust bowl town are not used to heighten the tension (director Kim Farrant treats it as subtext, preferring to focus on the embattled married couple). Repetitive aerial shots of the mountain terrain and surrounding desert grow tiresome (arty yet unrevealing), but the complicated scenario is enough of a draw for admirers of character studies. ** from ****
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