the dry

★★★★

director: Robert Connolly (paper planes, balibo)

starring: eric bana, Genevieve o'reilly, keir o'donnell and bruce spence

REVIEWER: emily carter

Aaron Falk returns to his drought-stricken hometown to attend a tragic funeral. But his return opens a decades-old wound - the unsolved death of a teenage girl.

The Dry beguiles you at every scene, tangling you tightly into its layers of mystery and small town secrets. While wrapped in a landscape that's achingly parched, The Dry somehow brings the depths of a novel's pages completely to life on screen.

 

Like many, I'm one that would choose the book over the film - probably. Whether having already delved into the pages or not, I can usually say with confidence that the book is surely better. But when watching The Dry, I couldn't help but feel that undeniable book quality that takes you on a deep dive into a world of characters you've never met. It felt like flicking through the pages and feeling the tension rise as a question mark is followed by another.

 

Based on Jane Harper's 2016 novel, The Dry is a murder mystery to get your teeth into. Set in a drought-stricken town in Australia, it follows Aaron Falk (Eric Bana), a federal policeman who's back in town for the funeral of a childhood friend. His friend was discovered shot dead along with their wife and child, and conclusions have been made by the local police.

 

Falk's very presence in the town causes a stir. Not only is he sticking his nose in, he is already implicated in the death of a childhood friend decades ago. Every corner of the town haunts his memories, and every old friend causes suspicion. The old and new case swirl together as he finds himself at his old and dusty stomping ground.

 

Eric Bana as Falk is a staunch and tortured soul who tiptoes between having friends and foes in the old town. While a classic genre, a murder mystery always feels like a treat on the big screen, and The Dry is no exception. Packed with puzzling characters and devastating landscapes, it encapsulates you in its tight storyline and oddly familiar characters.

 

With all the enrapturing dark corners and questions of a novel, this modern whodunnit has a plot to sink into alongside a dusty setting that's an unpredictable character in itself. Remember just why you love a good mystery and watch The Dry as soon as you can.

★★★★

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