Saturday, February 28, 2015
Indie Review: The Rover (2014)
Red 'Rover', We Call David Michod Over To The Artiste To Watch Club
After seeing this and Maps To The Stars, I can now come to this summary, since Robert Pattinson is in them: Thank the sweet merciful lord that Twilight is finished.
The Rover is set in a post-apocalyptic Australia that resulted in an economic collapse and follows the story of a loner named Eric (Guy Pearce) whose car, which is the one possession he has left, gets stolen. As he tries to retrieve it, he stumbles across the mentally challenged brother of one of the car thieves named Rey (Robert Pattinson) and they go on a journey of self-discovery.
I'll start off with the performances. First off, Guy Pearce continues to prove just how undervalued he is in the industry. He just commands the screen and even does so with the use of his eyes. The film hardly has any dialogue yet Pearce is able to convey the anger and mystery surrounding his character through his body language and he even makes Eric more sympathetic as he bonds with Rey. Now onto Robert Pattinson. I have made it known that I despise Twilight yet I never faulted Pattinson for that and in this, he proves that he has serious acting chops. Since he plays a mentally challenged person, he manages to keep his performance grounded and never goes overboard. Thankfully, since he made so much money off those Twilight films, he can continue to pursue more legitimate smaller films.
Next, I'll get into the cinematography. It is absolutely beautiful and captures the rather desolate and harrowing wasteland that is used as the film's setting. Also, while there were some action or shooting scenes, what surprised me was how it wasn't action-packed from beginning to end, yet I still found it interesting. It is more of a character study/road movie with action thrown in and hardly out of place with a quiet tone set in place. It is kind of like an indie Mad Max meets Of Mice And Men.
One chief complaint that I have is the pacing. There were points at times where the film dragged, but it didn't put a huge damper on the film watching experience like with Under The Skin, where practically nothing happens. But I do appreciate the subtlety that this film was aiming for.
Overall, The Rover is a quiet meditation on post-apocalyptic fare thanks to the fascinating efforts of Animal Kingdom director David Michod. The performances by the two leads are dynamic, the cinematography is beautiful, and the story's uniqueness is something to behold.
Would I Recommend It?:
Yes, but not to everybody. This film has a slow pace and might make some viewers asleep. But if you don't mind slow films, then you'll probably enjoy it.