Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Square (2008)

"We have to take it, Ray. We have to take it."
- Carla (Claire van der Boom)

At a glance: Fine acting and a clever script lift this Australian thriller about an affair and a heist that go horribly wrong.

Ray (David Roberts) is a middle-aged married man having a secret affair with the younger, married Carla (Claire van der Boom). When Carla pressures Ray to follow through on his promises to leave his wife and run away with her, he agrees to steal a bag of cash from her dodgy husband. Trouble ensues, and it’s great to watch how far Ray will go – first, to bring passion to what he must feel is his stagnated life, and second, to try to cover up his sins. This thriller has all the normal plot points of the genre, but, as they say, the devil is in the details, and the Australian actors and setting, along with some clever ways of interweaving the plot (such as Santa having to leave the picnic to fight a fire) make it more than worth watching. Talented director Nash Edgerton elicits powerful, modulated performances from the cast. It misses being a classic only because of an ending that is perhaps not as imaginative as it could have been.Rating: 2.75 of 4

"Though it falls ever so short of being tagged as great, this accomplished and genuinely gripping crime drama is worthy of your time, money and attention."
- Leigh Paatsch (Herald Sun [Australia])

"It’s filled with tasty elements, intriguing characters and a strong sense of place."
- David Stratton (At the Movies [Australia])

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