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Healing (2014)

R | | Drama | May 2015 (USA)
Inspired by true events, HEALING is a story of redemption, the discovery of hope and the healing of the spirit - in the most unlikely place for the most unlikely men.

Director:

Craig Monahan
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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugo Weaving ... Matt Perry
Don Hany ... Viktor Khadem
Xavier Samuel ... Paul Atherton
Mark Leonard Winter ... Shane Harrison
Anthony Hayes ... Warren
Jane Menelaus Jane Menelaus ... Glenys
Tony Martin ... Egan
Laura Brent ... Stacey
Dimitri Baveas Dimitri Baveas ... Yousef
Justine Clarke ... Michelle
Robert Taylor ... Vander
Tony Briggs ... Travis
Richard Stables ... Ted
Harry Tseng Harry Tseng ... Dave
Paul Bonet Paul Bonet ... Anderson
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Storyline

Viktor Kahdem is a man who has almost given up on life, sentenced to a low-security prison farm, a completely non-threatening environment where it is still felt that some individuals can be reformed. At Won Wron, Case Worker Matt Perry has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors - beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls. Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic wedge tailed eagle with a 2 metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible. Written by Craig Monahan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Face book site | Films web site | See more »

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 2015 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Kyneton, Victoria, Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Don Hany, who plays Viktor, has Hungarian heritage but plays a Turkish man in Healing. Nonetheless, he plays this very believable troubled convict who has a very engaging relationship with an injured wedge-tailed eagle, which is an iconic Australian bird of prey. See more »

Goofs

When Viktor is travelling into the city on the train, the internal shots show he is on a diesel powered V/Line train. However, as his train pulls into Southern Cross station, the external shots of the train show he is now on an electric "Metro" train. The internal shots continue to show him on a V/Line train, then the final external shot shows him stepping off the electric train and (even though in real life, it is plausible to switch between the two trains on that line). at no point in the story is there an explanation or logical reason to why he may have switched trains. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well intentioned but frustratingly cold
26 November 2014 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

An amiable, well filmed, yet unfulfilled Australian movie, Craig Monahan's Healing is an easy to like but strangely cold drama that continues on the modern day trend of local movies failing to reach their potential, and in this case failing to do so despite a very rounded and experienced cast.

Healing should've provided meaty roles to some of Australia's most experienced talent (Hugo Weaving), underrated talent (Don Hany from TV's East West 101), up and coming talent (Xavier Samuel) and renowned supporting talent (Anthony Hayes) yet Monahan as writer/director doesn't illicit enough emotional heft to make audience members care and in turn be affected by the plight of these men. Weaving by far comes off best as kind and caring prison officer Matt Perry while Hany can't quite grasp the accent or the pent up rage of lead Viktor Khadem while Samuel and Hayes are wasted on stereotypical prison inmates in the form of young inmate Paul and prison kingpin Warren respectively. Monahan can also be blamed for failing to capitalise on his metaphorical story of inwardly healing with the films central story conceit.

Around the story of these troubled men is the fact inmates lead by Khadem have been charged with the provision of a bird sanctuary in which birds of prey are nursed back to health and subsequently released back into the wild – no guesses in what the birds represent. This story plight feels sadly underutilised and much like many plot developments within the film, wholly unneeded. Moments within the film showcasing Mark Leonard Winter's (who perhaps steals the movie in an acting sense) Shane attending his brother's funeral or Weaving's Matt dealing with the death of his young daughter all feel like side parts that play no real meaningful stepping stone in an unfocused story.

Monahan has made one of Australia's greatest ever dramas in the form of his 1998 Hugo Weaving starring The Interview and in the time following has only made the disappointing Peaches and now this equally mediocre Healing, which is a shame considering his obvious talent. Healing is a hard film to hate thanks to its commendable intentions yet a hard film to love thanks to its mismanaged final product. Better than most Australian films of recent times, yet sadly that's not much of an achievement. Disappointingly forgettable, Healing never soars to the heights it so easily could've reached with the talent on hand.

2 Eagle helmets out of 5

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