Jindabyne: what are we capable of?
By
J. Gordon
6/27/2007 9:48:06 PM

What do we know about Human Nature? In the award-winning movie Jindabyne, the answer is: ‘not much.’ A young woman is murdered, and four buddies find her body on their big annual fishing trip. The trouble is, they’ve come a long way, you know? This is a once-a-year event and the trout are calling. What’s a group of fun-loving boys to do? Well, these guys tie the body up so she doesn’t float away, and forget about it until a more convenient moment when they can call the cops…

And that’s when the community revolts, a marriage implodes, and all hell breaks loose. Based on the short story by Raymond Carver, “So Much Water So Close To Home,” this is a good movie with a few holes: The legend of the Australian town, Jindabyne, which was moved to higher ground when floods moved in, holds meaning over the story that’s never really made clear. We watch the serial killer in the act, living in the town, and even helping out the Parish Priest. But is there a meaning to his character, or was he just a tool to create this chain of events? Does it matter?

More interesting is the change in the loving husband and father, Stewart Kane, who slowly cracks and finally discovers a little bit of his own violent tendencies after being pushed to the brink. Co-starring Laura Linney as Claire, his wife, the acting is excellent as life and death issues swirl around them and she makes the effort to reconcile peace of mind within herself, her family, and the town. This is a story driven by character as much or more than the intriguing plot, with excellent writing and beautiful scenery. A bit long at 123 minutes, but you’ll only notice it if you’ve had a drink big enough to sink a city.

 

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