Tag Archives: Ivan Sen

Mystery Road Movie Review

Featuring: Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Tony Barry, Ryan Kwanten, Tasma Walton, Jack Thompson, Jack Charles, Damian Walshe-Howling
Director: Ivan Sen
Writer: Ivan Sen
Website: mysteryroadmovie.com
Australian release date: Thursday 17th October

Reviewers’ verdicts:
rolanstein: Stylish and well-acted, but uncomfortable in its skin and let down by a narrative shot through with logic flaws.
Karen: Mesmerising, masterful.

When Aboriginal detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) returns to his home town in outback Queensland after years in the “big smoke”, the first case he is assigned is the murder of a young indigenous woman, found in a culvert outside town with her throat slashed and canine bite marks on her body. Swan soon joins the dots with similar previous killings, which he links with a drug network operating a meth lab on a remote farming property. The stakes are raised when his estranged daughter’s name comes up as a possible drug user treading the same path as the murder victims. Regarded with suspicion by the local community and unable to trust any of his fellow officers, he is forced to go it alone, heading inexorably for a showdown with the drug crims.

Review 1: (rolanstein)
Familiar western setup here: straight lawman from the city encounters bad forces in small town, including corrupt fellow cops, and fights lone battle to take out the trash. Detective Swan’s aboriginality isolates him in this case, which of course is a distinctly Australian take, but any number of American flicks of the genre spring to mind: Shane, Who Shot Liberty Valance, virtually anything starring Clint Eastwood…and, of course, there are obvious similarities with the Australian contemporary western/thriller of a couple of years back, Red Hill.

Unfortunately, while Mystery Road is a few notches up on that disappointing national predecessor, it falls way short of the impressive standards set by director/writer/cinematographer/musical score composer Ivan Sen in previous works such as Beneath Clouds and Toomelah. Continue reading Mystery Road Movie Review

Toomelah Movie Review

I’m late with this review. Been focusing on migrating the blog across to its own domain. The use-by date of my useful recall of movies is pretty short, and I fear the deadline may have passed with this one. So, will have to go for broad brush strokes, not detail.

That said, Toomelah is a haunting film that stays with you long after viewing, not least because of the astounding performance of its 10-year-old lead, Daniel Conners. Continue reading Toomelah Movie Review