Asta Cadell, a lawyer traveling through the Australian Outback on holiday, stops in a small Western Australian town after her motorcycle breaks down and shacks up with Tim Curtis, the local...
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Asta Cadell, a lawyer traveling through the Australian Outback on holiday, stops in a small Western Australian town after her motorcycle breaks down and shacks up with Tim Curtis, the local mechanic, while fixing it. She then becomes involved in helping Curtis' teenage daughter, Lizzie, who has been recently date-raped by Danny Fiske, the son of a wealthy, well-known citizen and his gang. Asta persuades Lizzie to press charges against Danny, but the local population becomes determined to keep the incident a secret at any cost and soon Asta and the Curtis family's lives are in danger.Written by
...this is director Jodrell's best work. Also known for some HALIFAX instalments, Jodrell has created a near-brilliant masterpiece from what is essentially an unoriginal story which could have easily been made into a non-consequential telemovie (notably, similar themes are dealt with in NATURAL JUSTICE: HEAT, a 1996 telemovie starring Claudia Karvan as the motorbike-riding lawyer based on the series of the same name). Furness, while not perhaps the best choice to play the lead role, ends up fitting nicely, with her tough-looking exterior (and shocking 1980's hair!!). She's a barrister, roaming the outback on her motorbike, when she comes across a small town which is hiding a shocking secret: seems the town's "lads" have been having more than a little "fun" with some teenage girls. Thing is, the local constabulary would much rather sweep it under the carpet than have to lock his mates up, and the girls have enough trouble convincing their own families of the truth, let alone the parents of the "nice, good boys" who have "never been in any trouble." Stereotypes abound here, but that's okay, it actually adds a dimension to the story and really lets us get angry at the characters. And just when you think you're hooked, Jodrell manages to pull in a bit of THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS and even MAD MAX to spice things up a bit... SHAME is an unconventional, highly emotive and stunning piece of work from a little-known director who, by these standards, deserves to be up there alongside Peter Weir and Scott Hicks as the most successful Australian filmmakers. Rating: 8/10.
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