Film: 2010: "The Square"

THE SQUARE – a chilling tale about sex and silver

By Miv Evans

This film follows the descent of a man who longed for that little bit more, and got it.  It’s a tale of desire, deceit, betrayal, violence and revenge.  It shows how people can carry out dark deeds and let their judgment slip away as they stumble blindly from fatal error, to fatal error, to fatal error.  In other words, it’s a story about what happens after you have sex with someone else’s wife. 

It’s claimed to be the best film noir since Body Heat and while I wouldn’t elevate it to so lofty a status, it’s dramatic and it’s thrilling and serves as a chilling reminder that when you’re in a hole, you really should stop digging.

Ray is in a mundane marriage and Carla, his paramour, is married to Billy, who has tattoos, a limited wardrobe (just vests) and spends a lot of time knocking back cold ones with his brawny buddies.  Billy is also a criminal and it’s the heist from one of these jobs that makes Carla believe she can have more than just an affair and as her desire grows so Ray’s will diminishes and the besotted pair encourage and support the other to make no more sense than they themselves are doing.  There are twists and turns and tension and horror and each time a way out appears it’s snatched away and our hero is sucked deeper into the mire and further and further from terra firma.

The plot is intricate and mostly well executed and the writer cleverly creates a major deceit that is the catalyst for Ray’s life spiraling more and more out of control.

But as intriguing as this idea is, the revelation is thrown away when Ray’s boss steps in from nowhere, announces the resolution and simply gives Ray a ticking off. 

Why would someone in as much trouble as Ray, for reasons that no one would sympathize with (apart from the odd billion people who have also committed adultery), confide in his boss, who he has no close relationship with? 

Secrecy has been paramount up until now and the scene where Ray actually approaches his boss was either never written or ended up on the cutting room floor, but it’s really hard to imagine what he could have said without revealing the list of crimes he has been racking up willy-nilly over the last few days.   It would have been so much more satisfying to watch Ray unravel this mystery and watch him writhe in self-deprecation at the cruel twist that cheated him so well and so mercilessly.

The Square Movie Trailer

The other issue I have is with the casting.  Ray is pleasant looking but definitely nothing exciting or macho or sexy, so it’s hard to see what a young hottie like Carla sees in him.  At first I thought it was money, which is not particularly admirable but adding the silver to the sex and using this as motivation is hardly a stretch, but these two characters being inextricably bound rather is.     

Of course, not all movie stars have to be sexy (no, really) and it would be highly unintelligent to expect every Australian film to star a hero who wants to square up at the drop of a billabong, but Ned Kelly had it all going on and so did that guy who liked to fight reptiles bigger than him.   And come to think of it, where on earth has he gone?   Not on walkabout, I hope, looking for that little bit more.

Rated:  R
Distributor: Apparition
Director:   Nash Edgerton
Writer: Joel Ederton, Matthew Dabner
Producer:  Woolloomoolo, Australia
Cast:  David Roberts (Ray), Claire Van Der Bloom (Claire), Billy (Joel Edgerton)
Running time:  125 minutes
Release Date:  The Square, 10th April, 2010
 
To read more reviews by Miv visit www.emol/org/reporter/evans  To receive alerts when her reviews are published email [email protected]

APPARITION RELEASES THE SQUARE   

Aussie Noir is First Feature Film from Stuntman turned Director Nash Edgerton and Actor/Writer Joel Edgerton

Apparition has acquired all North American rights to The Square, the first feature film from Australian stuntman-turned-director Nash Edgerton and actor/writer Joel Edgerton, and will release the film on April 9th, 2010. Spider, Nash Edgerton’s short film, that has become an Internet sensation since its debut, will screen prior to each theatrical showing of The Square.
 
A stylish, twist-filled noir, The Square centers on an adulterous couple whose scheming leads to arson, blackmail and murder. The film was recently named by Ain’t it Cool’s Harry Knowles as number 5 on his top 10 films of the year.

“It was the short film, Spider that interested me in Nash. Popular at festivals all over the world, it signals the mood for the appropriately shocking and wickedly humorous follow up feature, The Square,” says Bob Berney, CEO of Apparition. “We intend to release both films theatrically, they are a perfect noir cocktail that will thrill audiences and announce the arrival of Nash and his brother Joel as filmmakers to contend with.”
 
Actor Joel Edgerton (Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: II - Attack of the Clones, Smokin’ Aces) co-stars and co-penned The Square script with Matthew Dabner. Edgerton most recently starred as Stanley Kowalski opposite Cate Blanchett in The Sydney Theater Company’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  Edgerton received rave reviews and the play sold out shows at BAM in Brooklyn, New York and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
 
In his short career, Nash Edgerton has amassed a resume of more than 100 films as a stuntman. These films include The Matrix Trilogy, Superman Returns, The Thin Red Line, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: II - Attack of the Clones. His shorts, including Spider, Lucky and Deadline, have played at festivals around the world. He has also directed music videos for Bob Dylan, Ben Lee, Toni Collette and Eskimo Joe.

A festival favorite at the 2009 South by Southwest and Seattle Film Festivals, The Square is produced by Louise Smith and stars David Roberts, Claire van der Bloom, Anthony Hayes and Joel Edgerton. The film features original songs written by Ben Lee. The film is rated R.
 
The Square is a Screen Australia in association with the Screen New South Wales presentation of a Film Depot production in association with Blue-Tongue Films. International Sales are handled by Pathe International.
 
About Apparition
Apparition is an independent motion picture distribution company formed by Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney in 2009.  Currently in release are: The Young Victoria, for which Emily Blunt has earned a Golden Globe and BCFC Awards nominations for her role as Queen Victoria in the early years of her reign, Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed Bright Star and Troy Duffy’s breakout hit Boondock Saints II:  All Saints Day. Upcoming films include The Runaways starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning and The Tree of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. The company has an output relationship with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group for all domestic ancillary rights.

New York, NY – January 19, 2010—

Films in 2010

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