The Rover review by Michelle Sommerville - Cinema Paradiso
From out of the mind of Australians David Michôd and Joel Edgerton, comes the apocalyptic film The Rover. It is reminiscent of Mad Max and The Road, but manages to maintain its own identity. The story was good; the acting was good; and it might be an indication that Australian film is getting ready to battle the rest of the world.
I am a born and bred Australian. I am also an aspiring filmmaker. Despite my love for my country, I find it extremely hard to find Australian film productions that I like, but this film might just make the cut.
We begin the film ten years after the world has suffered a global economic collapse. Lawlessness prevails, and the Australian outback - even more dry, scattered, and desolate than at the best of times - is where two men set off on an unexpected journey. Eric (played by Guy Pearce) has his car stolen by a small gang of men, who leave in such a hurry, that they desert one of their own. Rey (Robert Pattinson) is left injured, and at the mercy of Eric. Rey promises to lead Eric to the group, and back to his car. Will they find the car that is so important to Eric? And will he exact revenge for the crime?
The use of the Global Financial Crisis, while not the most original, was still relatable. Everyone was affected by it, and it is a quick way to immediately connect the audience to the plight of the characters.
The acting was also commendable. Guy Pearce has been apart of some good films, and knows how to act, but he is often overlooked. It is interesting to note that writer/director David Michôd actually wrote the character with Pearce in mind, and Pearce stepped up to the plate. Robert Pattinson - who tweens will know as Edward Cullen from the Twilight series - does well to embody a totally different character. He very effectively played the semi-slow-witted Rey, along with the characters ticks.
Stylistically, it is dark and moody and emotional, which is good for the film, but you are also not given a moment to breath. It remains this emotional for the entire duration of the film, and the most successful films contain a mix of emotions.
Without giving any spoilers, I will say that not everyone will like the ending. When Pearce’s character goes so out of his way to find his car, we know there is more to the car than we know. Not everyone will appreciate the ending, and this will probably be the point that makes people either like the film, or hate it.
The film has been nominated for many awards - mostly film festival competitions - and has received quite positive online reviews.
Visually, it is a beautiful, though depressing, film, that could improve in some areas, but overall, a sign that the Australian film industry is taking notes.