Film Review: Strangerland (2015) ★★★★


What would you do if one day you wake up to find your children have disappeared? No doubt, reporting to the nearest police station would be your first move. And then, hope, hope and hope, that one day, they will appear in front of your door, while whatever happened will be dismissed as part of a nightmarish dream. But what if they don’t show up? Then of course, you will start seeking for an answer, how could you possibly allow this ever to happen? This is what exactly happens to Catherine (Nicole Kidman) and Matthew Parker (Joseph Fiennes), when they find themselves in such a critical situation. Compared to how other, orthodox families would have responded to the same incident, Catherine and Matthew act a bit differently, throwing themselves into madness created by them. After all, what else could we expect from a psychologically unstable, strange couple, who live in an even more strange place called Strangerland.

Before you decide whether to watch Kim Farrant’s film or not, you must know a few facts: this film is not for everyone. It’s not for those who expect to receive an answer. Because, sometimes things happen outside of our control, and there is no way to fix what has been done. If you think this film will deliver you a narrative solution, then you better not waste your time, because it will not happen. Sometimes there is no such thing as the answer or solution, but only acceptance and admittance to move forward, wherever that might take you.

Everything about STRANGERLAND is weird, unusual, and strange, but in a very good way. When the film begins, you already find yourself staring at something non-typical. Maybe, it’s because of it’s dark aura, or The Parker family. As the film progresses, we find out more about The Parker family, and the main reason why they had to leave the big city for a little one, somewhere in the remote desert of Australia. This is why when Catherine and Matthew report to police about the disappearance of their children (one of them already had a similar case in the past) the local sheriff, played by Hugo Weaving assumes that maybe the case is a lost cause. However, the heartbroken and desperate parents disagree with the sheriff, and try to find their children on they own. But soon after during their search and private investigation, they will lose something that’s very important to have at such a critical time for the family: their mind, patience and sanity, not the way you expect…

Strangerland may give you a hundred reasons to not watch it, but one reason to convince you to see it: a strange, emotionally naked, strong performance delivered by Nicole Kidman since Rabbit Hole. Her Catherine is desperate, vulnerable, emotional, and totally unpredictable. Screenplay written by Michael Kinirons and Fiona Seres gives enough room to Kidman to improvise and expose her character with amazing depth. This is where she shows that she’s always better when it comes to playing bleak and dark characters. While Hugo Weaving is always good in every film he appears in, Joseph Fiennes delivers another great performance in every scene he shares with Kidman. The scene when she goes to the desert alone, shouting Lily’s (Maddison Brown) name is one of the best scenes I’ve seen in a while, where Nicole Kidman’s character appears absolutely naked in the middle of the city with no idea where she is.

In conclusion, STRANGERLAND is not about living happily ever after with a big and happy family.  It’s about teaching us how important it is not to miss opportunities to showcase your love and support for your children while you can. It is about guiding them and helping them to get where you want them to be. Because if one day you find them gone, disappearing for any reason, the feeling of regret and having missed opportunities will be the only thing that will heavily occupy your mind.

Coming to theatres across Canada starting July 10th, 2015 with exclusive engagement at The Royal

On DVD & VOD July 28th across Canada

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