Swerve Review

A woman, two men and a suitcase of money – a lot can happen in the middle of nowhere.

I really regret not going along to see more movies at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, because I know that I’m missing out on some really great films. Thankfully, I did get along last night to see the really fun new Australian movie – Swerve. Swerve is a thriller full of some great dark humour and a simple but compelling storyline.

The film opens in the middle of nowhere with the first example of the brilliant cinematography that persists throughout the film. You really feel the isolation that these characters are dealing with, and the stillness imbues many scenes with an added level of tension. This film is beautiful to watch from beginning to end.

I won’t spoil anything about the story, suffice it to say that when an Average Joe (although an unusually honest one) finds a briefcase full of money, you know that things are going to go pear-shaped really soon. While the story takes some predictable turns, it never feels boring. You really feel for Frank (Jason Clarke) as he is drawn into one crazy situation after another, and you understand why he doesn’t take the few opportunities presented to run away.

The movie plays out with a series of escalating events, and the dark humour involved as each plan goes wrong really tickled my fancy. Unfortunately I don’t think that this film would perform very well outside of Australia, because the character of the film is so tied into the local culture (but thankfully without being really ‘okka’).

My one complaint about the film is that sometimes events got just a little too ridiculous, one particular moment involving a cop and a train comes to mind. While the crazy nature of the story allows you to go along with the silly nature of the unfolding events, sometimes the film pushes the friendship a little too far.

Overall, this is a fantastic film, but if you’re not from Australia a lot of the film’s character might pass you by. I highly recommend checking this one out when it hits general release.

What I Liked – Great cinematography. A lot of fun dark humour. Good performances.

What I Didn’t Like – Sometimes things got a little too silly. The ‘silent assassin’ character was underused.

Rating – 4 out of 5 (Really Enjoyable)

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