Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Square movie review

The point is, if you want to steal the money, escape the bad guys and get the girl, then for heaven sakes, get going. Don’t wait for them to come and get you!
Such is the fault with brothers, Joel and Nash Edgerton’s crime thriller, The Square. The truth is however our ‘heroes’ in this film, Ray (David Roberts) and Carla (Claire van der Boom) seem to frequently make the wrong choice in what to do next. This of course helps keep the drama contained, that is, all the protagonists are kept legitimately within the Sydney suburb it starts in. And what a tangled web of self-serving interests it becomes.
Ray and Carla are having a an affair and when Ray can steal enough money via kick-backs from his cement supplier, they will each leave their partners. Carla discovers her partner, Smithy (Anthony Hayes) hiding a bag full of cash. What if Ray steals the cash and trashes the house to make it look like an arbitrary robbery? In steps Billy (Joel Edgerton), professional arsonist and willing to assist, for a fee. Things like this never work quite as well as one hopes, a complication arises and suddenly everyone is suspicious that everyone else knows something and is hiding it.
Most Australian films in recent years are either knock-about buddy comedies (Strange Bedfellows) or tragic family dramas (Somersault, Little Fish). To have a film that follows a “genre” storyline in an Aussie accent is welcoming. The acting is fine, the direction feels accomplished and the setting “works” as the story criss-crosses between respectable suburban ordinariness and the deceitfulness of those on the take.
At times this film evoked the unsettling mood of Lantana but unfortunately the inconsistent steps in the plot left me wanting more. Recommendation : Okay. 2½ out of 5.

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