February 20, 2014

Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Ivan Sen
Country: Australia

Movie Review: Set amidst Australian desolated fields and dusty roads, “Mystery Road” takes us into an obscure world of crime that promised so much with its intriguing first moments but ultimately faltered along the way. When the body of an Aboriginal teen girl is found in a deserted highway, local detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen), recently returned to rural town of Winton, Queensland, becomes in charge of his first big case. After make several probing inquiries to a bunch of unfriendly and elusive people who could directly or indirectly be connected with the victim, Jay will get more and more closer to the truth, learning that she was involved on drugs and prostitution business. Police involvement seemed pretty obvious to me since the first minutes, when the suspicions fell on sly officer Johnno (Hugo Weaving), caught in secretive operations in the middle of the night with his colleague Robbo (Robert Mammone), but the plot reserves some mildly surprising revelations. At the same time, Jay struggles with the possibility of his estranged daughter might be involved in the same wrong paths as the victim was. With a beautiful crepuscular cinematography and a boisterous shooting scene, this noir Australian drama presented discontinuous moments of thrill within an atmosphere that tries to get close of “Winter’s Bone” or “Frozen River”. The problem was the time the story took to evolve (I found the film overlong) and a sort of apathy in some scenes. Having said this, “Mystery Road” is watchable yet not unforgettable.

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