McKenzie's script draws on material he and Miranda Harcourt developed for her theatre piece, "Portraits", which itself drew on their own interviews with rapists, murderers and victims' families. See more »
slow yet atmospheric and gripping; very good value
It is remarkable how badly a good movie can be received in its own country. Perhaps the contemplative pacing and intersecting of past and present along with the inter-splicing of two of the key characters just had too much competition from the succession of Peter Jackson blockbusters.
Contrary to many reviews from fellow New Zealanders, I found the movie atmospheric, thoughtful, compelling, and well acted. Indeed, I was startled to realise it was a local product, the 'feel' of it being more Nordic.
There is a jarring turn toward the end when it suddenly shifts gears into action-thriller. However this is soon resolved satisfactorily - and not over-predictably. One could argue it was indeed necessary to the story.
There has been some criticism to the effect this movie gives little insight into the subject of rape and murder. Yet those involved in making this film have been involved for years in working with .... rapists and murderers! One wonders what such critics expected? Is the truth of the matter just too banal for those in film-land to find 'convincing'?
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