Eric Bana, THE DRY (2021) Directed by Robert Connolly

The Dry, Directed by Robert Connolly

THE DRY (2021)

Directed by: Robert Connolly
Starring: Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Bruce Spence, Sam Corlett, Keir O’Donnell

 

4 Star Rating

 

It’s wonderful to see such a brilliant Australian production – feels like home. From its box office opening weekend, The Dry became one of the highest-grossing Australian movies; indicating that others thought so, too.

The Dry is a sensational film adaptation of Australian author Jane Harper’s debut novel of the same name. Featuring predominately Australian actors (Miranda Tapsell is indigenous! Hooray for Australian cinema), an Aussie director, an Aussie screenwriter, an Aussie producer, shot in the Australian outback, produced by ‘Made up Stories’ – co-founded by Australian producer Bruna Papandrea (and Reese Witherspoon) – it’s fully Straya!

Scenes are filled with sweeping views of the desolate, drought-ravaged countryside, and that distinct summery din of countless chirping crickets.

Actors drive Holden Commodores and jacked-up Landcruisers… and they talk like me! Hearing Australian accents on the silver screen is so bloody satisfying. Eric Bana’s character is a trendy Melbourne cop wearing the trendy-Melbourne-cop uniform – Ray Ban sunglasses. Attention to detail is part of what makes The Dry so much fun to watch.

Themes explored in the story aren’t as much fun to watch. Poignant. Relevant. Provoking. Affecting. Pertinent. The best bit: if you’re not looking for it, the el grande point is completely invisible. Ipso facto. The point is invisible because invisibility is the point. Jane Harper, Robert Connolly, Harry Cripps (screenwriter) – well-done team. Hats off to you all: take a bow. Many critics and reviewers don’t mention The Point, intentionally or otherwise…? 🤷🏽‍♀️

So here it is: The Dry is about women. Witherspoon and Papandrea’s production company was founded with a specific focus on films about women – watch for the common thread in The Dry. But hey, if feminism isn’t your thing there’s plenty else to enjoy while you intentionally ignore the film’s basic premise.

All cynicism aside, Eric Bana really is some awesome acting talent. The shower scream scene is illustrative of this – The Hulk woz ere. Returning to Aussie film during COVID, international superstar Eric Bana is now a household name the world over. Funny to think of him as kickboxing accountant ‘Con’ in The Castle, or a regular contributor on Full Frontal all those years ago. The star shines as bright as ever in The Dry, supported by an exceptional cast of both familiar faces and rising talent.

The whodunit mystery of The Dry keeps audiences guessing right to the end. There are red herrings aplenty and just the right amount of suspicious activity is exhibited by  every single character – the entire town is a suspect! Maybe – just maybe – that IS the problem…


Movie review by Emmaline Gallagher

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