During filming of Australian western The Proposition, British actor Ray Winstone once remarked that every living thing in this country was out to kill you.
It’s this component that director Mike Green wanted to paint of his homeland to evoke that sense of fear and dread in the vast open plain.
Instead of having a serial killer or madman as the antagonist, I made Australia and the outback, the antagonist”Mike Green interview
We often vision Australia as this serene, beautiful land which on the surface casts one of the most majestic scenes that our planet offers, but if you delve deep enough, you find the hidden dangers lurking in plain sight.
Green lures us into the desert terrain through the eyes of an American couple on what should have been a romantic adventure, but like the land in which they set out to explore, Lisa (Lauren Lofsberg) and Wade (Tyler Wiese) are just as fractured and unpredictable.
We join Lisa and Wade at the start of their journey from Sydney Airport where we learn that Lisa has rejected Wade’s marriage proposal.
The result finds the couple disconnected and searching for each other to see whether the relationship is worth fighting for.
In doing so, they become lost and insignificant in a foreign land.
Testament to Green’s writing skills should be mentioned as he draws out some well-developed characters in his leads which is fleshed out with some fantastic performances.
This is a good thing as between them they need to carry the movie with very little other characters to interact with.
By the film’s conclusion, we really care about their outcome, because Green has taken the time for us to connect and care for them both.
The choices that Lisa and Wade that lead them to their ordeal are born out of ignorance and naivety but their decisions that are believable and in the moment, as they try to navigate their way to survival whilst facing a number of dangers along the way from snakes and scorpions, to searing heat and dehydration.
All of which surmount into a gripping, heart-wrenching drama that captivates right to the end.
Director Mike Green takes the audience on a brutal and harsh journey of survival through the lens of an American couple on the brink of collapse. The gritty realism along with excellent performances helps lift this movie and casts a blistering light on the savage land with a narrative that keeps you hooked and willing the characters to endure their torment and live to tell their tale.
SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER, 9PM
Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney
- Saul Muerte