A dream holiday ends in a way which none of them could ever imagine. Check out our review of the tense drama, Wish You Were Here after the jump.
Alice and Dave Flannery (Felicity Price and Joel Edgerton) are a hard-working couple with two young children and another on the way. When Alice’s sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) suggests that the couple join her and her boyfriend Jeremy (Anthony Starr) for a holiday to Cambodia, Alice jumps at the opportunity and convinces Dave that a pre-baby (number 3) break is just what they need.
The four head off to Cambodia for a holiday of food, beaches, relaxing, and of course partying. While in Cambodia the couples don’t exactly behave, and we see montages of dancing and parties which show the couples drinking heavily, smoking, and taking what we can only assume is illegal drugs. After Alice and Dave return to Australia they don’t exactly seem happy and relaxed, and we soon discover why. Sometime during the night of the last party they attended Jeremy went missing and his whereabouts are still unknown. Soon after Teresa returns to Australia also, as the Cambodian authorities have scaled down their search and there is nothing more she can do. Relations are tense between the three and we start to get a sense that there is more going on than initially meets the eye. People are keeping secrets and there is more at play than just a missing person case.
The film is skilfully edited by Jason Ballantine, who has worked on other Australian films such as Wolf Creek and Rogue – and it is the editing which is the key component to creating such a rich and engrossing film. The film frequently switches between the present day in Sydney, and back on holiday in Cambodia. As questions are asked in the present day in Australia, they are quickly answered or explored in Cambodia. In flicking between the past and the present, the film is able to slowly blossom and gradually reveal more and more of it’s secrets. The audience are constantly keep on edge, and the tension is measurable throughout the film.
Shot on location in Sydney and Cambodia, the scenery on display is truly beautiful. From the beaches, to the Cambodian markets, to the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, the locations are stunning. The film makes the best use of the colours and light in it’s locations, and there are several gorgeous scenes at sunset/sundown. The film often puts the beauty and softness of the light at juxtaposition with the pain that the characters are feeling – this only serves to heighten the emotion surrounding both the pain and the beauty. The music used also adds to the atmosphere in both the locations, particularly in the party scenes in Cambodia. The opening montage and music used in it sets the scene for the type of events that happened on the holiday, and the audience is easily transported to both the serenity of the beach and the high-energy of the drug-fuelled parties.
The cast all deliver great performances and fully embody their characters. Joel Edgerton shows his Hollywood pedigree with an emotionally-charged performance which will have you hooked from beginning to end. Felicity Price is excellent as the mother who has it all-together at the start of the film, but who rapidly falls to pieces as the film goes on. She is gives her character such emotion rawness, and it is impossible not to feel her pain.
Unfortunately the film is let down a little by it’s ending. The film is tense throughout and nothing happens too easily; however in the final 10 minutes the film is wrapped up a little too neatly and there are several questions to be asked about why and how certain things happened the way they did. Don’t let this put you off from seeing the film though. It is beautifully shot, well-edited, and extremely well told. This is a film that will have you on the edge of your seat asking questions from the get-go – an intriguing and engaging story that satisfies on almost every level.
Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Writer(s): Kieran Darcy-Smith & Felicity Price
Starring: Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Anthony Starr
Runtime: 93 minutes
Release date(s): Australia: April 26th 2012; New Zealand & USA: date not set