The Dry - Film Review

The Dry - Film Review

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Posted 2023-11-14 by PerthKelfollow
The Dry is a 2020 Australian mystery thriller film directed by Robert Connolly, based on the novel of the same name by Jane Harper. The movie stars Eric Bana in the lead role of Aaron Falk, a federal agent who returns to his hometown in rural Victoria to investigate the murder of his childhood friend Luke Hadler and his family.

The film opens with a flashback to the past, where a young Aaron Falk (Joe Klocek) and his father are driving through a parched countryside in the midst of a severe drought. The father stops to investigate a dead sheep lying on the roadside, and Aaron discovers a gun in the car. We then jump forward to the present day, where Aaron (Bana) is informed of the death of his friend Luke Hadler (Martin Dingle Wall) and his family in the same small town he grew up in. Aaron reluctantly returns to the town to attend the funeral and provide support to Luke's grieving parents.



As the investigation into the deaths proceeds, it becomes clear that Luke may have murdered his wife and child before taking his own life. However, Aaron is not convinced and begins to dig deeper into the case. Along the way, he is reunited with his old friend Gretchen (Genevieve O'Reilly), who is now a police officer investigating the case. The two of them begin to uncover a web of secrets and lies in the town, as well as a link to the death of a young girl from their past.

The more the two investigate the deaths, the more it starts to look as though Luke and his family were all murdered, and that it wasn't a murder-suicide as everyone suspects. But can the pair figure out who may have done it, and then prove it?

The film is set against the backdrop of a severe drought, which not only serves as a metaphor for the moral decay and desperation of the town but also provides a visual and atmospheric element to the story. The dry, arid landscapes are beautifully shot and contribute to the overall sense of unease and tension that permeates the film.

Eric Bana delivers a strong performance as Aaron Falk, conveying both the trauma of his past and the determination of his present. He is well-supported by the rest of the cast, particularly Genevieve O'Reilly as Gretchen, who brings a fierce intelligence and determination to her role.

The script by Robert Connolly and Harry Cripps is taut and suspenseful, skilfully balancing the various plot threads and maintaining the mystery until the final act. The film is a faithful adaptation of the novel, with all the key plot points and character moments intact.

At its heart, The Dry is a story about the corrosive effects of secrets and lies, and the power of the past to haunt the present. It is a gripping and atmospheric thriller that showcases the talent of the Australian film industry and cements Jane Harper's status as one of the country's most exciting new writers.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is its depiction of small-town life in Australia. The film captures the insularity and suspicion that can exist in such communities, as well as the simmering tensions and resentments that underpin seemingly mundane interactions. There is a palpable sense of claustrophobia and unease in the film that is heightened by the drought-stricken landscape and the sense of isolation that comes with it.

The film also touches on issues such as domestic violence, suicide, and the impact of climate change on rural communities. These themes are handled with sensitivity and nuance, never feeling heavy-handed or didactic.

Overall, The Dry is a gripping and suspenseful thriller that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre. It is also a powerful meditation on the lingering effects of trauma and the importance of confronting the past in order to move forward. With its strong performances, beautiful cinematography, and tightly-woven plot, The Dry is a standout film that cements Jane Harper's place as one of Australia's most exciting new writers.

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270530 - 2023-11-14 07:41:16

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