Friday, July 21, 2006

Jindabyne

Australian film has experienced an uprising recently. It seems that, finally, the cheap ocker comedy has fallen by the wayside, making room for genuine, introspective drama that resonates with critics and the select few that shell out their hard earned money to see something that doesn't involve someone with the surname Wayans or Sandler.

Jindabyne is one such film.

Adapting from Raymond Carver's short story, director Ray Lawrence (Lantana) constructs a delicately introspective, brooding tale of ethnic and moral ambiguity that subverts the standard thriller structure. The basic plot of the story (men find dead aboriginal girl in lake, but keep fishing for two days before telling anyone) suggests elements of thriller, but it is mostly a dramatic piece, with beautifully constructed and believable characters (Laura Linney's dissatisfied wife is superb) coping with the situations presented to them and trying to regain a semblance of normalcy.

While it answers few questions, and contains no finite ending, the film is ultimately satisfying and provides the basis for further thought and speculation about the actions of people and their responsibilities to each other.

4 comments:

Rohan Williams said...

Hey, a friend of mine saw this and thought it was racist... what did you think? He interviewed Ray Lawrence, who said he doesn't believe in cultural relativism, but this guy thought that's exactly what the film was preaching. I haven't seen it; your thoughts?

Grace Suter said...

I thought that it was a pretty fair representation of how a lot of people DO react to aboriginal/torres strait islanders. I didn't think it was preaching either way, but placing the verdict in the hands of the different characters, many of whom had quite differing reactions to the situation. It was more of a reflection of society, and didn't really preach.

Rohan Williams said...

Thanks, sounds interesting...

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