I am becoming ever more partial to Australian cinema. And the futuristic thriller “The Rover” has only served to amplify my growing admiration.
Set a decade into the future after a catastrophic financial collapse, this severely stark story can’t help but inspire a grim vibe of “The Road Warrior” smashes headlong into “The Book of Eli” variety of apocalyptic mood. The music is completely, and completely mind-bending, Aussie indigenous. And the cinematography as realised throughout the ruthless terrain of the South Australian Outback by Natasha Braier is at once brutally gritty and strikingly spectacular.
Guy Pearce is plain and simple one of the finest actors of our time. Pearce’s searing depiction of a guy who, having lost everything that matters in his life, has nothing left to lose is as sympathetic as it is repugnant. And that ain’t easy to pull off. With a lesser actor it would be impossible. And let it be said that Robert Pattinson is a sheer revelation. He is damn near unrecognisable here, both in appearance and affectation, as a mentally challenged, trigger-happy man-child who nonetheless fully comprehends when a blood brother has egregiously and unforgivably let him down.
In the end we at last come to learn why Pearce’s character of Eric is so viciously driven to recover the car a gang of ribald robbers had ripped off from him. And in that moment, and if possible, we find that we feel even more pity for the hopeless fate of this man doomed to be a rudderless rover for all the rest of his joyless days.
Not exactly the cheery stuff of “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm”, certainly.
But then again, neither is the end of the world.