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Cargo - Film Review

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by Emma Ullah (subscribe)
Digital Content Editor | Culture Writer @emma_ullah //
Published May 7th 2018

From the producers of The Babadook, Cargo humanises the zombie cult classic, pulling at our heartstrings to deliver something truly heroic.

If you've come for bloodied guts and deadpan humour you won't find it here well, only mildly. This post-apocalyptic story starring Martin Freeman (Andy) and rising young actress Simone Landers (Thoomi), is underpinned by much more than your average flesh-eating monster.

Starting out as a short that gained over 14 million views, Cargo has ventured into feature-length territory, delving into love, sacrifice, societal values and above all family devotion.

With only 48 hours to get his infant daughter Rosie to safety before an unknown virus ravens him, Andy embarks on a time-ticking journey through the Australian outback.

Sided by Thoomi, a newly acquainted Aboriginal girl who is also concerned with the welfare of a loved one: her infected father, the duo begin their own personal voyage together until Andy quickly realises that this strong-willed, young female - despite being a minority, may actually be his daughter's best chance of survival. Oh, what an ode to female empowerment.

But, with great victory comes great sacrifice. A montage of sweeping drone shots together with an eclectic soundtrack makes impending doom all the more palpable. As he tows his precious cargo, Rosie to better care, could time be running out for Andy? Freeman's calm portrayal of this luckless father makes it hard to believe.

It's less about gore and more about the decisions we make as humans in times of crisis. Tainted with racial undertones that explore the divides between "the gabas" (white folk) and the indigenous people, Cargo utters an earnest message surrounding unity. Is it better to club together or abandon our own to save ourselves? Transcending an idea that is prevalent now more than ever - instead of building up walls and cages to keep the unknown away, a collective force, working harder and smarter might just hold the key to survival.

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*Emma Ullah was invited as a guest
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When: In cinemas across Australia, May 17 | Available on NETFLIX, May 18
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