Starring: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, David Gulpilil, Jacki Weaver; David Wenham.
Sequel to Mystery Road (2013).
A crime drama set on the backdrop of the desert mining town of Goldstone.
Goldstone gets you thinking about the value of life out in isolation where the threat is from the people who run the town and earn the mighty mining dollar.
Out there in the desert, the desolate packed earth runs through the veins up to the soul of those unable to quench it.
This is a film driven by the strong performances of Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan, the grieving drunken cop sent to the country of his mob to find a Chinese girl gone missing. And Jacki Weaver as the Mayor: a cold character, with the ice in her stare showing the predator beneath her floral apron.
David Wenham as Johnny, the head of the mining company, was also a stand-out performance: an iconic Aussie character with his stubby shorts, long socks pulled up to the knees and glasses from the ’70s.
And the Indigenous people also play a part in this film, with old man Jimmy’s (David Gulpilil) voice echoing off the red rock reflected on the water of secret rivers.
It’s unique, the setting of this film.
Director Ivan Sen makes the most of the endless land and rosy sunsets by taking shots from high above to show the utter isolation of the place. He uses the quiet threat of the land where wild half-breed dingoes and flies will eat you if you happen to get lost. The lone cop, Josh (Alex Russell) telling the detective, the outsider, ‘Be careful where you step, there’s plenty of snakes around’.
And I found the quiet of the film interesting, with a soundtrack made up mostly of the desert wind and bird call of the outback.
This isn’t a film that entertains but takes you on a journey of crime in a place so isolated, the one cop in town is seemingly unable to fight it.
It’s a different set of rules in Goldstone, amongst the hawks and red dirt. And this film highlights the difference between the organic, the value of fish in the river compared to the fake power of money.
Goldstone is glittering glass often mistaken for natural material. And like the title of this film, money is just paper. Human trafficking is not of the earth. It’s a human trait, like fake gold.
So yes, this is a quality film that gets you thinking, but it’s such a quiet slow burner you need to concentrate with this one.
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