Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: The Square

Boring, even when wet.
This sloppy Aussie noir could have been a really great film; it gets off to an excellent start, but becomes lazy and uneven as things plunge to a finish.
Produced by many of the same blokes who recently brought us Animal Kingdom, it is in fact directed by Nash Edgerton, whose brother Joel played a supporting role in both films and helped write The Square. Understandably, it feels very much of the same cinematic universe.
The main problem is our blandly stoic protagonist. This is the second Australian film I've seen in as many weeks with a boringly morose hero who's expressionless visage and blank attitude make it very difficult to empathize with him. His face remains frozen in the way pictured above for almost every minute of the film. Additionally, and I don't think this is too much of a spoiler, he doesn't appear to really learn anything by the end of the story, and his constant grimace does not help. He has no arc, he just does things, then the movie ends. If we cannot sympathize or at least be entertained by the protagonist, then nothing else matters; the hero is the face, of the movie and if the face is nearly comatose, then so are we.

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