Timothy's Review of Noise
The simply titled Australian import "Noise" is a most unusual film, a multi-layered exploration of fear, isolation and grief that won many accolades in its country of origin. It's a quiet, moody film that is in complete contrast to its title, with many different plot lines that sometimes converge but many times do not.
There are several terrific moments here, but the central problem of the film is that those moments never really congeal together to make for a cohesive movie. This is more of a collection of dramatic scenes rather than a meaningful drama, although clearly many people disagree with that. The opening scene is jarring but the rest of the film is maddeningly subdued and introspective. Director Matthew Saville has a lot he wants to say, but the film left me empty and unsatisfied and by the end I was just left wondering what the point was.
Several plot threads are never quite resolved and the film's tone is completely ambiguous. There are some good performances, especially from Brendan Cowell in the lead. He's asked to carry the movie for the most part, and he does an admirable job. Also good is newcomer Maia Thomas who is just terrific in a sympathetic role. Both their characters made an impact on me, but unfortunately, the film on the whole did not.
In fact, much of "Noise" left me cold, an ambitious picture that has a lot going on even though not much seems to happen. Subtlety has its place, but in this case, I wish the film had said what it wanted to say more clearly.