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The Dry – 2020 Connolly
- Eric Bana plays a federal agent name Falk who returns to his hometown. The town is ravaged by an ongoing drought and by a recent murder/suicide by one of Falk’s childhood friends.
- Director Robert Connolly directs and co-writes the screenplay based on the Jane Harper novel.
- The desperate circumstances brought on by the drought are mentioned by the opening titles, the radio, a preacher and the father of the parents of the deceased- all early in the film establishing the atmosphere of dread.
- There is a great city vs. rural dynamic as Falk is now an outsider (and one with a past) in this unfriendly small town. Falk is a great character and Bana plays him well. He is like a tough talking far-more-handsome version of one of Bogart’s protagonists. There is another outsider in the town (John Polson) who clearly does not belong in this town as he orders a Budweiser in rural Australia.
- Keir O’Donnell (Todd from The Wedding Crashers) plays the town’s local police- clearly in over his head trying to investigate the crime.
- The narrative unfolds beautifully with the flashback to the river (which is now dry in the strand of the story in the present tense). The Dry turns into two very intriguing murder mysteries (past and present) playing off each other back and forth.
- The dry itself makes for a great setpiece and a fitting backdrop for the showdown.
- Peter Raeburn’s music score is worth singling out and admiring.
- The final shot is Bana walking through the dry in a long shot- a strong choice.
- Recommend but not in the top ten of 2020