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Movie InfoA suicide victim has been discovered in the bathroom of Adelaide High School at precisely 2:37 p.m., and now time is about to shift back to the morning of this strange tragedy to show just how any of six potential victims could have fallen victim to that overwhelming ennui in director Murali K. Thalluri's quietly desperate drama. Life as a teenager is far from easy in the new millennium, and sometimes the comforts of modern society can inadvertently lead to isolation. A series of dark secrets are about to emerge from the hallways of Adelaide High, from the struggles of an unwanted pregnancy to the all-consuming inner turmoil of an outwardly confident athlete, the daily trials faced by an abused outcast, the social pressures that pile onto a girl with an eating disorder, the pressures placed upon a "straight 'A'" student, and the drug-addled efforts of a desperate teen to elude his inner-demons, it seems like any number of students could have made that unfortunate, and irreversibly permanent, decision. … More
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Critic Reviews for 2:37
A self-consciously directed, socially conscious film, 2:37 is too forcefully plotted to ever engage a sympathetic viewing.
A queasy exploitation picture masquerading as a serious dramatic treatment.
Un exercice tout à fait valable face auquel la réception aurait été assurément plus clémente si Murali K. Thalluri s'était exprimé en utilisant ses propres cordes vocales.
opting almost frame-by-frame Gus Van Sant's technique on "Elephant", Australian director Murali K. Tharulli is shamefully exploitive in the manner in which he conveys teenage angst in "2:37".
The film flows naturally around its central contrivance, employing unforced performances by unprofessional actors and a visual style that uses available light to pull you into the worlds these students inhabit.
Inspired by Gus Van Sant's Elephant to an almost absurd degree, 2:37 consequently comes off as a pale shadow of its progenitor.
Audience Reviews for 2:37
A very predictable story and what a crap copy of "Elephant" (shooting style and script development).
2:37 starts with blood coming from under a door and the implication that somebody is injured. The film then takes place over one school day leading up to the events of the beginning. As we see the lives of many students it becomes apparent they all have a reason to hurt themselves or each other. Pregnancy, incest, homosexuality, wetting yourself, all come into play as the motives. Like Elephant we see the same events from different perspectives and it's all kept relatively insular. The performances are great, but it also seems melodramatic as everybody has a problem. It soon becomes a bit obvious that it's the ones that don't speak up that have the real problems. It's a film about being selfish and not noticing the lives and problems of those around you.More
Directed by: Murali K. Thalluri.
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Frank Sweet, Charles Baird, Clementine Mellor.
<< "You gotta be tough, otherwise people will stomp you down to the fucking ground, it's a jungle and if you can't fake your way through school, how the fuck are you going to make it in the real world?" >>
The story follows a group of 6 teenagers over the course of one day at a contemporary school in Australia (similar to any around the world). It all starts at the end of the day, with a suicide of one of these students...but who? What follows is a trip into the lives of each individual and the struggles with their personal demons.
Murali K. Thalluri has a gift for cinema. He achieves what so many try to do and that is to grab the audience and shake them up till they have felt what he is trying to deliver, but never shying away from the characters, the story and its themes. His screenplay's basic plot and ideas are nothing new, it covers every common problem with teens such as bullying, sex, sexuality, suicide, just to name a few...but he tackles all of them with such unforced power and grittiness, he tackles the themes realistically to the point where you can't help but turn your head away. This skill and depth really grabs an audience like me, out to find something fresh and with a reasonable amount of depth and understanding for its characters, but he also uses small conventional twists to grab the others.
He uses a lot of 'Steadicam' style shots with long takes, but he crafts every story together professionally and the brilliant use of editing makes it very compelling, as does the cinematography which is beyond impressive, capturing the right tone in every aspect.
What impressed me was the cast. A group of unprofessional, unknown Australians ain't expected to grab an audience on first go (for some), but anyone who thinks that (like I did) is wrong. Each character is given there own powerful story and every actor delivers outstanding performances, drawing the emotional power from the complexities of there characters. I can't just mention one or two names, as the entire cast impresses.
Too many compare this to 'Elephant', all because of similarities in basic plot. 'Elephant' is an art film and a completely different style, 2:37 is different. Murali K. Thalluri is a name to look out for and it excites me that such a young man (22) living so close to home creates such a shocking and powerful debut. One of the very best Australian debuts I have ever seen, sure, we have all been through school in our lives and we know how some of the common problems are and there's nothing new here with its basic themes, but the unknown depth of these themes and how it covers teen angst with such knowledge and power is brilliant. Disturbing and very hard to watch, 2:37 hit a note with me and deserves worldwide recognition.
<< "People are scared of dying...I'm not..." >>
I really wanted to like this film. I really did. The topic of suicide is not one to be taken lightly and I had high hopes that this film would present us with people we could grow to care about. And it did not.
That's not to say I didn't care for anyone in this or that I can't understand why someone would want to kill themself. I've been there, who among us hasn't? But the key to a film about someone contemplating suicide is the audience's empathy with the characters. Whether it's the person about to kill themself or the people who must shoulder the fallout from that decision, we cannot have a one dimensional character throughout the movie and open our hearts to them.
So who does this film offer?
- a football player who believes the solution to his sexual orientation problem is to beat up people
- a drug addict, who LOOKS like your stereotypical drug addict (way to be subtle there, Murali K. Thalluri). I find it hard to like drug addicted characters, regardless of other traits. In comedies it works well but in serious films it's difficult. Candy didn't wow me over (though Abbie Cornish was the lead so no surprises there. It's like she chooses annoying characters on purpose) but I am hoping Half Nelson will make me see things differently.
- a boy who rapes his sister... I will make this clear now, I cannot sympathise with a rapist. End of discussion.
To be honest, I actually expected all the kids to commit suicide, not like a murder-suicide pact but as a statement that no matter how different they are, they all bleed the same and they all feel emotions. We come from many places but we all feel. And if that indeed were the ending, I would have given this higher marks. So when it does reach the end of the movie, who is it that decides to end their life? The character least focused on.
Now I know at this point, you could say "Well, that was the point, she was virtually a background character so it makes more sense." No it doesn't. We are given no motivation on her part, we know little of her problems. So for all we can assume, she might just be starved for attention, be it good or bad. She might be making a mountain out of a molehill as some teens are oft to do. Like I said at the beginning, suicide is not to be taken lightly. How do we know she hasn't? It's not to say her problems AREN'T important, but how are we to know? How can we be expected to care for her final fate if the movie doesn't give us anything to go on? That may be the intention of the film, and if so, it's the wrong way to do it.
You can say I've missed the point. I say the movie decides to give me characters I have no regard for because some of them are despicible and some of them make stupid choices. I do not point and laugh at people who choose to take the hard choice of removal of their own life. I've been down a dark road more than once and I can understand the thoughts some people would be thinking at that time. I'm fortunate enough not to have lost anyone to suicide. What bearing does this have on the movie? It's my means of saying this movie should have been an epiphany. Instead, it angers me. All that potential wasted.
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