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PACT, THE

SYNOPSIS: 
Young Wilga Roberts (Jamie Croft) is no ordinary thrill seeker. He entices his sister and two friends into the illegal sport of train surfing; riding on top of fast moving diesels as they thunder across spectacular countryside. Wilga’s world is shattered when his beloved 15-year-old sister Patricia is killed. Patricia was a special person always doing good for others. In her memory, Wilga makes his two train surfing friends join him in a bizarre pact to honour Patricia. The Pact reunites them 15 years later – but only Wilga (Robert Mammone) is willing. Susan (Sigrid Thornton) is his first call, who now has a daughter, Brittany (Basia A’Hern) – whose life is also at risk.


Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Australia’s Government supported film industry doesn’t make many thriller genre films and The Pact is no exception: it’s privately financed. The budget is still low, but expat Australian director Strath Hamilton has made it look twice the size, aided by some excellent cinematography, editing and music. 

The performances are also tops, Sigrid Thornton creates an engaging central character as the mum on the run from a psycho who was once a friend. She and Basia A’Hern as the daughter make a good runaway couple and develop the relationship with a no-nonsense style. Robert Mammone stands out as Wilga on the way to hell with his good intentions, and Peter O’Brien provides excellent support as the widowed farmer whose life Susan gate crashes. 

I could have wished for a few script polishes, to get a better grip on things here and there (eg Wilga’s self-blame over Patricia’s death got muddled as did the reason for his prison stretch). But the film’s pace, energy and technical achievements – together with the performances – make up for those lapses. And it’s probably in its favour that the structure and conventions of the genre are more or less intact. It’s a thriller with a twist and worth a look.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

ROBERT MAMMONE INTERVIEW by Andrew L. Urban

PACT, THE (M)
(Aus)

CAST: Sigrid Thornton, Robert Mammone, Peter O’Brien, Basia A’Hern, Grant Dodwell

PRODUCER: Phil Avalon

DIRECTOR: Strath Hamilton

SCRIPT: Hugh Hamilton O’Brien

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Martin McGrath ACS

EDITOR: David Stiven

MUSIC: Brett Rosenberg

PRODUCTION DESIGN: John Carroll

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: InterTropic Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: NSW: November 21, 2002; other states to follow

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount

VIDEO RELEASE: September 18, 2003







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