Sarah Keaton has just passed away following a difficult bout of cancer. She is survived by among others her loving executive chef/restaurateur husband, Tom Keaton, and their eight year old son, Oscar Keaton. The end of the Keatons' marriage was difficult not only because of the cancer itself, but also because they had divergently different views on treatment, and because her early prognosis was positive leading to both not treating the news of her imminent death well. Tom copes recklessly, irresponsibly and angrily in his grief, manifested by among other things indiscriminate casual sex with a multitude of partners. Also negatively affected by Tom's actions is Sarah's sister, Karen, who feels she needs to be the responsible one, especially as Oscar is often a casualty of Tom's irresponsibility. Many of the Keatons' friends and colleagues try to be there for Tom in any way they can, including Miriam, a therapist who is more a friend of a friend. Tom may have to go through much pain ... Written by
Burning Man is a different film that goes the route not taken. It is works in the same manner of films similar to Memento. It requires the audience to invest into the film and with the effect of constantly solving a complicated life puzzle. It is an unique experience that will stay in your memory for a good while. It is a essentially at its core a film about dealing with loss, moving on, grieve, the love of your life, cancer and the aftermath of a tragedy. It is what you call a smart film that let the audience work it out for themselves. The film also constantly uses sex as a symbol, motif, and metaphor and to depict the passion with the relationships. Shot in the backdrop of Bondi Beach in Sydney, the location is almost unrecognisable and the cinematography is mostly excellent. Although the film is shot and edited in a creative manner, meaning that nothing happens coherent and the director is clearly playing with time and memory, it is exactly this aspect that the film fails to connect with the audience and ultimately feel for the characters deep involved in their respective situations. Still, for an Australian film, these is an admirable effort and along with a wonderful yet conflicted performance from British import Matthew Goode and the screen stealing beauty in Bojana Novakovic. Although I have not since any of director Jonathan Teplitzky's previous works, with Burning Man, one can only say that this man is filled with potential.
All in all, The Burning Man is not a film for everyone; it can be am torture to sit through and also rewarding at the same time. In essence it is very much an independent film, but for what it is worth, The Burning Man is a fine effort and deserves some much needed credit for the Australian Film Industry
Neo rates it 7/10
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