In a contemporary urban Australian high school three months before year's end, a terrible incident is discovered behind the locked door of a toilet. It is the culmination of a story about half a dozen of the students who are each dealing with deeply troubling personal issues, ranging from unwanted pregnancy to a medical condition that causes embarrassing pants wetting to parental disapproval to sexuality issues. Feeling alone and unsupported, they each try to deal with their demons as best they can - but not all of them succeed.
Review by Louise Keller:
There's nothing new about teenage angst, but there's plenty new in the way first time director Murali K. Thalluri treats the subject in 2:37. It's a stunning debut, in which the film's structure as it portrays the internal world of troubled teens is handled with as much complexity as the topic. Circular in structure, dipping back in time from different perspectives like a rewind button, the film's narrative is coloured (albeit in black and white) by documentary-style insights from each of the main players. It is about their hopes and dreams that they confide; it is as though they are sharing their inner most thoughts with a secret friend.
'There's some stuff you can't share,' confides Melody, the pretty blonde who loves kids and animals. 'When serious stuff happens, you are so alone.' There is plenty that happens in this drama, although much of it is internal. We meet six students in their daily school life, yet it is the intimacies they confide that are the most revealing. Each is vastly different from the other, yet there is one thing they all have in common. Something they are hiding. The themes are varied, including homosexuality, incest, fidelity, self-image and medical compromise. Tough topics, and Thalluri involves us in the plights of each of the teens. Superb performances from the entire ensemble cast, with special mention to Teresa Palmer's Melody and her onscreen sibling Marcus (Frank Sweet), who aspires to be like his dad.
The first indicator is the tone of the film's music. Rather than upbeat or rhythmic music, the mood is subdued, pensive and reflective. Classical music offers awkward pauses, much like the emotional life of the six students in whose life we become involved. The shifts in time keep us on the edge of our seat, as we are never sure when, in the ticking of the day's clock, the things we are seeing on screen are actually happening. Tense and intriguing, the internal heart of the film pumps its full head of steam ahead of the action. It's a deliberate and strong human drama that reminds us of life's complexities, and that ultimately we are always alone to face them.
There's a commentary on the DVD, feature on the making of the film, deleted scenes plus photo galleries.
Published February 1, 2007
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2:37: DVD (MA)
CAST: Teresa Palmer, Joel Mackenzie, Frank Sweet, Clementine Mellor, Charles Baird, Sam Harris, Marni Spillane, Sarah Hudson, Chris Olver, Xavier Samuel, Gary Sweet, Daniel Whyte
PRODUCER: Nick Matthews, Kent Smith, Murali K. Thalluri
DIRECTOR: Murali K. Thalluri
SCRIPT: Murali K. Thalluri
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Nick Matthews
EDITOR: Nick Matthews, Murali K. Thalluri, Dale Roberts
MUSIC: Mark Tschantz
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 17, 2006
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary, feature on the making of the film, deleted scenes plus photo galleries.
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: January 3, 2007