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  • Hamish Hart

The Dry (2020) Review

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

RATING: 8/10

AUSTRALIAN director Robert Connolly, known for his work on 2011's The Slap, sits in the director's chair once again in order to bring Jane Harper's best-selling novel, The Dry, to life. And for my money, Connolly has outdone himself through this instant Aussie classic.

Ongoing frustrations throughout a small regional community following years of drought reaches its boiling point as Aaron Falk (Bana) returns to his hometown two decades after being accused for the death of his childhood friend, Emily.

Although Aaron only intended to stay in town for the funeral of his long-time friend Luke, who allegedly killed his wife, young son and himself in a murder-suicide, the now-federal police officer believes there is a secret being hidden within a community who has despised him since leaving.

There were a lot of films released last year that failed to connect with me emotionally, but The Dry managed to grab me by the horns and hitch me along for the depressing and engaging murder mystery.

Authentic shooting locations such as Wimmera, Victoria helped set the tone for this thrilling Australian drama. From old-fashioned hotels to farming properties, to bathrooms and kitchen water appliances barely able to function due to the lack of rain, The Dry lives up to its - well - dry name.

Like any good movie, actors and actresses must deliver exceptional performances in order to create an uncanny atmosphere and world for audiences to become engrossed with, and The Dry is no different from any good movie.

Eric Bana shines as Aaron Falk, showcasing a range of different emotions such as grief and anger. Through his leading role, Bana beautifully articulates each mental state Aaron goes through during his unwelcome homecoming.

Initially set to leave as soon as possible, Aaron soon remembers his deceased friends and the unforgettable moments the four of them created, driving his journey to bring justice to a regional community void of it.

Other actors and actresses including Genevieve O'Reily, Matt Nable and Bruce Spence also bring a lot to the table, but one notable actress who stood out to me was Bebe Bettencourt as Ellie.

A newcomer to the acting industry, Bettencourt only appears in reoccurring flashbacks, but makes the most out of her limited screen-time as she exudes tremendous emotion into her character of Ellie as she deals with internal and familial struggles.

The Dry may have just missed eligibility into the 2020 AACTA Awards, but that doesn't mean it still won't be a hot contender for the 2021 awards.

If you're searching for a film that will hit you emotionally and truly represents the scenery of the Australian Outback, make sure to check out this ambitious Aussie drama ASAP.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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