Update: I am taking a bit of a break being summer and all, be back soon. I will visit your blogs though. Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer.
Jindabyne, is the rather unusual name of a movie that I saw a couple of weeks back at TheatreN in
Jindabyne ( New South Wales, Australia that overlooks Lake Jindabyne near the Snowy Mountains, in Snowy River Shire. It is a popular holiday resort, especially in winter, due to its proximity to ski resorts in the Kosciuszko National Park, including Thredbo and Perisher Blue.) is a town in
It is in this town and the region it is in that this film’s story unfolds. The movie begins with a local tradesman sitting behind some rocks off of a desolate road in his truck scanning the road for his prey and she is coming up the road. Cutting back to the town we get to know these 4 working class guys Stewart (Gabriel Byrne) Carl (John Howard), Rocco (Stelios Yiakmis) and Billy (Simon Stone) and their families including Stewart’s wife Claire (Laura Linney), Carl’s wife Jude (Deborra-Lee Furness) as they get ready for their annual fishing trip into the isolated high country. It is this trip and their discovery on it that will alter their lives and those of their loved ones that constitute the central theme of this movie which is based on a short story by Raymond Carver.
The four fishing buddies find the bound and abused body of an Aboriginal woman in the river and rather than make the trek back to where they left their vehicle and report the find as it is late, they decide to spend the next day fishing. It is not just the fact that they don’t report this crime, but Stewart wades in to the water and tethers the victim to the bank with his fishing rope around her ankles as they are worried the body might get washed downstream and in the falls.
Done with their fishing and pictures with their catch they head back and inform the police.
Stewart gets into bed with Claire and for a moment we think as if he is going to tell her about what happened but instead we see him just sleep, he seems untroubled by what has happened as are his friends.
Claire find out what happened next morning when a police detective stops by to ask Stewart a few questions and she is justifiably livid that he never bothered to tell her even as he grabbed her breast and kissed her as he got into bed. We see similar reactions from the wives/girlfriends of the remaining guys. The difference being Claire single handedly (along with her son) in an attempt to make amends raises money from the people in the town for the poor family to pay for the girls funeral, the rest of the parties involved just seem to want to move on although they seem sorry about their thoughtless act.
Their callous act is soon nationwide news as their pictures get plastered across the newspapers and on television and they become targets of scorn from the townsfolk. But it is not that simple, especially when the victim is a young Aborigine, especially a woman. The state of the indigenous people of
Claire incensed at this whole sorry affair resolves to get to the bottom of it and it drives things to the point where it creates a rift between the families and Stewart, where she finally decides to leave him and attend the victim’s funeral despite her past attempts to reach out to them being rebuffed.
Things come to a head at the funeral. will Claire’s attempt to make amends be welcomed? What about Stewart? Will he be able to stop the slow downward spiral his life threatens to take? What about the rest of his friends? What about the killer who is a part of the community?
These will be answered if any of you are curious enough to see the movie. Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney are brilliant, especially Laura Linney whose portrayal of a woman whose faith in her husband and marriage are shaken to its foundations stands out. The rest of the cast is great too and these characters (even the relatively minor players) are not cardboard cutouts but richly created in all their strengths and foibles, and this may have contributed to making the movie a bit long, but it also made for a more rewarding experience from my point of view. I loved the region in which the movie has been filmed and it was a treat to watch.
I liked the movie and if you have a couple of hours free to catch this one in the theater or on DVD then do try to catch it. It received a 65% freshness rating at rotten tomatoes. As per them
Rotten Tomatoes awards the Certified Fresh accolade to theater releases reviewed by 40 or more Approved Tomatometer Critics (including 5 critics from the Cream of the Crop) that score at least 75% or higher on the Tomatometer. A film remains Certified Fresh unless its Tomatometer falls below 60%. Reserved for the best-reviewed films, the Certified Fresh accolade constitutes a seal of approval, synonymous with qualitySo make what you will about that and my “Not a review”.
Having seen both Jindaybye and Lantana, I have to say that the latter was a much better movie and far more engrossing, but then again it was a different movie. This is a movie that will haunt you for a while after you finish watching it. It is a movie about the rituals (ancient and/or modern) that constitute the rhythms of a community and explores the effects of love, grief and loss upon it’s members and the community as a whole.