Stranger Review – Joel Edgerton is at his brooding best in this sophisticated crime drama.Melbourne International Film Festival

a A creeping sense of dread pervades writer/director Thomas M Wright’s second feature film. serious misfortune In 2018, this was not only a great biopic (of artist Adam Cullen), but one of the best Australian films ten yearsStranger has a texture that is particularly reminiscent of Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s films. snow town When Nitramwith scaled-back color schemes, stylized compositions (but never gaudy), and graded in a slightly off-color manner, as if the characters smudged the film’s surface and polluted it from within.

Our narrative path to this sophisticated and contemplative picture is via Henry (Sean Harris), an ex-con and drifter who meets a stranger, Paul (Steve Muzakis), on a bus. . Cinematographer Sam Chiplin creates a surreal theatricality by painting the surrounding space black. Paul tells Henry that he knows where he can find a job that is not a legitimate job, and soon Henry is on the web of undercover cop Mark (Joel Edgerton) posing as a middle-ranking gangster. It has entered. The movie spends a lot of time with Mark and Henry, but we don’t know what either man can do.

The Stranger is a story of “unraveling the case” that draws us in on a mission to identify the kidnappers and murderers of a boy who went missing years ago. Become. For a long time it was not clear exactly who the suspects were or even the nature of the incident. Wright was inspired by a real-life investigation to find the man who murdered 13-year-old Daniel Morcom. voices against this movieHowever, there is no Morcolm’s name, and neither the boy nor the crime is depicted. If the viewer sobers up, there is little chance of connecting the film to real events.

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Among its unconventional elements is the use of Edgerton’s character as a means of examining trauma. This is often portrayed as something experienced by victims and sometimes their communities, and rarely by cops. Mark’s anguish over his work feels terribly real, and this creates a mesmerizing psychological energy that washes over everything. Possessing an incredible talent for making us feel stuck in – takes multiple helms, blurs the inner world with the outer world and draws us deeper into Mark’s mind.

You wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alley… Sean Harris as Henry in The Stranger. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Performance is very important. Edgerton is at his best with a brooding and brooding performance, exploring the dark ramifications of undercover work in a fresh and compelling way. He’s one of those famous actors who seems to have no problem disappearing into unappealing characters.In fact, his role choices seem partly designed to avoid glamor altogether. that too good, mostly that too As persuasive as Henry you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley.

Wright’s stylistic splendor uses cinematic representation without removing us from the pictorial reality. A white line in the middle of the road provides a visual rhythm in one scene. In another example, after Henry and Mark meet, the camera remains in the car that transports them, but switches from day to night to condense time. Behind the buckshot is used judiciously, with the face as a reference point. The Stranger avoids both neat exposition and contrived ambiguity as narrative fragments shuffle to confuse the audience.

Speaking purely as a police story, there’s a scene about 30 minutes before the end (no spoilers) that I’ve never seen before, but it’s certainly not at this level. So much weight behind it all. The plot events in question are dramatically documented, but there’s a mood, a tone, an intangible energy that takes it to another place, swelling the joints of the film and rattling the bones of its characters and audience. By the point, it’s abundantly clear that The Stranger is hard at work shining. To call it an unconventional and impressive crime drama is to put it very lightly.

  • The Stranger is currently showing as part of 2022. Melbourne International Film FestivalIt will be released theatrically in Australia in October 2022 and globally on Netflix that month.

Stranger Review – Joel Edgerton is at his brooding best in this sophisticated crime drama.Melbourne International Film Festival

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