8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
Well acted and original Australian thriller that takes a well needed break from the usual serial killer film and instead explores its characters in a creative way. Brendan Cowell gives a strong performance as a policeman wrestling with tinnitus (or a possible brain tumor) while an investigation of a recent mass killing occurs. Director Matthew Saville does a fine job focusing on the characters in the film and how they relate to each other not only as witnesses to a horrific crime but as ordinary, frightened human beings. The pacing is appropriately slow to allow character development and I like how the script and camera observe the situations subtly. There's a good deal of foreshadowing in the film and the ending is ambigious with a shade of religious symbolism.
Because Cowell's character suffers from tinnitus, Saville uses sound in a variety of creative ways to great effect. An original film in all aspects!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Noise," not to be confused with the many other films of the same title, is an Australian film by director/screenwriter Matthew Saville. The pacing begins slowly like an art film with attention to detail. We tune into Maia Thomas who plays a witness that obliviously walks onto a subway car with headphones on and belatedly notices that she is sitting in the midst of a massacre where everyone but the killer is dead in the car. She freaks out, at first seeming to befriend the killer and then is spared by him for some unknown reason. We never really get what set the killer off, but come to understand later that he's extremely short tempered. Brendan Cowell plays Graham McGahan, a police constable who has a medical condition tinnitus that causes ringing in the ears, apparent hearing loss at various times and a blackout on an escalator. Put on desk duty, his life seems to be precariously unraveling. His relationship with his detective girlfriend Caitlin Robinson played by Katie Wall seems at times affection and at times stormy. Fiona MacLeod plays Detective Melanie Ryan who investigates the subway incident and interfaces with the witness and McGahan. Stationed in a small police trailer, locals like Dean Stouritis played by Luke Elliott and "Lucky" Phil Heydon played by Simon Laherty drop by and each contribute to the storyline. The imagery and the violent conclusion amid Christmas music blaring on the television, shotgun blasts and helicopters circling makes for a powerful ending that will please fans who both like action and arthouse filmfare. I was moved by it. Enjoy!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Let me state upfront that I am a big fan of the Film Movement library of indie and foreign films, so much so that I finally gave in last year and subscribed to their DVD of the Month series. Meanwhile I am still catching up on Film Movement releases from years past.
"Noise" (2007 release from Australia; 108 min.) is a gripping crime drama. At the beginning of the movie we watch a your woman enter the subway in Melbourne and unbeknown to her she has entered the subway car where 7 people just have been murdered. A little later, another body of a murdered woman is found in the suburbs of Melbourne. Meanwhile we get to know Constable McGahan, a cop on the street beat who gets posted on a trailer/caravan in suburban Melbourne. McGahan suffers from severe hearing problems, possibly caused by stress. Are the two crimes connected? Will the killer be found? What role is McGahan playing in all of this? To tell you more would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is a suprisingly tense crime drama and character study at the same time, I was gripped from the very start and the tension doesn't let up much. There are a number of side characters I didn't mention in my introduction, but they add to the full picture of what is going on. Beware: this being an Australian-English spoken movie, I had trouble at times understanding the dialogue (somewhat surprisingly, there is no option for subtitles). The DVD comes with a number of extras, including a nice "behind the scenes" making-of documentary. In all, this is yet another worthy edition of the Film Movement libirary. If you are in the mood for a quality foreign movie, I would readily recommend "Noise".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A dark cloud descends over Australia as our movie plays out. First we have someone on a subway open fire on a multitude of unsuspecting people, with only one person surviving the ordeal. A body is then found a few days later, its skin burned beyond recognition, and the police soon find themselves thinking the two are connected. This is where our main character comes in, the "ringing" in his ears sidelining him after he passes out while attempting to ride an escalator, and where things begin to worsen until, at the end of one terrible day, he finds himself facing a lot more than just the sensation in his ears.
Some people will not like this movie because we are shown exactly what the ringing sounds like for our poor police officer. I hate to really call the sound ringing, either, because the sound is an overwhelming thing that would drive most people mad. In one scene we see just how bad this is, too, with him trying to drown out the noise by turning on every appliance in his house just so he can hear something else. In another respect we find him suffering from a condition called "not known," where he thinks he may have a brain tumor or worse. Regardless, these illustrations might be too much for some people. I, myself, found these moments enlightening however, because it gave us a glimpse of what this man went through as this condition began to worsen. It also showcased the acting skills of the actor involved, and it showed us just how terrible this feeling of helplessness could be.
Another thing I took from the movie was a what if, brought on by the police officer as he commented on his beliefs in the afterlife. In one setting he said that he thought that heaven and hell may simply be the mind spending its final moments dying, with the way you lived your life actually being your heaven or your hell. This isn't meant to say that the police officer dies - far from it - because the movie does not wrap up things neatly when it ends. It is merely meant to question some aspects of the movie and to ask if there could be more to the film than first imagined. There is this point at the end of the movie there is a car horn that sounds as something crucial to the story takes place, and the noise of the horn sounds a lot like the noise that he has been hearing. So, is this more than just an unknown noise sounding in the distance of his mind, or is it an unknown quality that you will never have the answer to because of the way the movie ends? Whenever a movie makes me asks things like this, I have to give the movie kudos because the movie does more than entertain some basic senses. It makes me think about movements of the story and outcomes, and I like to be surprised by things like this.
Regardless, I thought the movie was addictive and I really liked the way it was set up. From the acting to the set-up to the killer involved, the movie made its way along a path I didn't anticipate and truly kept me watching. I also liked the character as well, enough so that I hoped he would have a happy ending, and both the plot and the people were truly enriching. The first time I saw it I had questions, and the second time I watched it I had some answers and more questions to go along with those. Now, a half dozen times later, I can only say that I recommend the movie to people who enjoy something different and that the movie does not fail to disappoint.
on July 5, 2012
This is a film that will literally take you by surprise! "Noise" from 2007, was directed by Matthew Saville. Constable 'Graham McGahan' (Brendan Cowell) while on duty, experiences a sharp ringing in his ears that causes him to blackout and faint. Concurrently, a horrendous and senseless crime has just been committed by a crazed gunman (several people have been shot to death), on a commuter train in Melbourne. 'McGahan' winds up in the hospital, where he is diagnosed with tinnitus, but could be symptoms of something much worse. Then the story unfolds between one of the survivors of the train massacre 'Lavinia Smart' (Maia Thomas), the ongoing police investigation, and 'McGahan', who has been assigned to a desk job in a police van; reaching out to the community for tips to help solve the case. The acting by the main characters was just amazing, so understated yet very real. I won't give anything away other than to give you my take on what I think the film was trying to say.
When you think of people's basic need to communicate with each other (yet everyone wants to drown out the world; with headphones and other gadgets), and in how this very essential function of humankind is being suppressed. Affecting how we interact with each other, and in how our actions (not random events), can have life-changing consequences for so many. Now of course this did not just happen overnight (it started with the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century), but it has been accelerating in the last few decades. 'McGahan' has been questioning the purpose of life (his job, relationships, etc.), and the function of society in general. He is ultimately questioning his existence (he gives us his insight on what he thinks happens at the moment of death). However, like any good writer and filmmaker, Matthew Saville has made it ambiguous. "Noise" then, is not just about us drowning each other out: it's also about the great gulf and void in all our lives. This is a brilliant film that raises so many questions yet remaining open to interpretation. This is a film that will stay with you for days to come, very moving and powerful stuff! English (English subtitles), NTSC, NR 108 mins.
Love and Peace,
on April 20, 2011
This film is worth a look, whether you're interested in film or crime film in particular. Extremely well done, excellent acting, good direction. It plays by the rules, so it's a bit predictable; and it is ungodly slow. Hence the 4 stars. But well worth the time required to watch, and absorb, this flawed gem.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Noise (Matthew Saville, 2007)
Every once in a while, a really good movie comes along that for some reason people just don't get. In the case of Matthew Saville's Noise, the problem seems to have been excessive subtlety, though I didn't have any problems following is plot. This is a movie that does require you to pay attention, though, so be warned; this is not something to rent for casual viewing.
Graham McGahan (Three Blind Mice's Brendan Cowell) is a young police officer who has been suffering from tinnitus for the past eighteen months. As it's getting to the point where he can't hear at all, his CO relegates him to a police van in a shopping center. This happens just after an incident on a train where a number of lives were lost, however, and the community actually needs someone to talk to. McGahan slowly starts to make some friends in the community, but the killer from the train has never been found, and tensions are high. Things are getting ready to fracture along the usual lines, and McGahan finds himself caught in the middle.
This is a movie that takes its time getting to where it's going, allowing the bonds between the characters to build at their own pace, allowing the characters to develop into real, three-dimensional people. Then, of course, there's the mystery aspect of the film, though to be fair for most of the film's length, the mystery of it is so slight that it might as well be a straight drama or even a chick flick instead of the billed thriller. I've little doubt this also put people off, and when it comes right down to it, the entire mystery is underwhelming, even when we actually get to the climax. (A number of people, in discussing and reviewing the film, seem to have missed a crucial piece of evidence. Heed Goat's Rules of Film Viewing #12: always, always, always listen to every word that comes through a radio or television in a movie.) But the mystery here is supposed to be playing second fiddle to McGahan's story anyway, so what does it really matter? But despite not ever really grabbing the viewer, the mystery angle is quite cleverly thought out, and it's obviously subtly presented. As far as I'm concerned, erring on the side of subtlety is always the lesser error when dealing with something like this. Saville got it right.
There is a great deal to digest here, but if you give it the time and thought it deserves, it will reward you amply. An excellent little film, well worth your time. ****
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2009
This movie moves along at the pace of its characters in mid-summer Australian heat. In fact, the pace of the characters exemplifies the overall effect of this film: very slow in most spots, and a sprint or two yielding most of the action/significance of the story. Both the title and the use of "noise" in this film were not a convincing element of the plot, and some of the segments of the plot are choppy enough to leave me a bit disinterested in what's unfolding. All of the characters are handled unevenly, and some of them (Australian police) seem downright unbelievable. The movie had some effective moments, the outburst of the diabetic heroine confronting her stalker, and the theorizing of our policeman protagonist as to the nature of death, heaven, and hell. But overall for me this movie is woven together with some holes in the fabric and some knots in the thread.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2008
It is refreshing to see a movie where the hero does not conform to typical stereotypes. This movie is engrossing and well-written. Highly recomended.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2010
Ok, when the film started I was really liking it. It then SLOWLY drags on downhill. About 85% of this film takes place in a Police Caravan watching the lead actor sitting and bored. I share your pain...The lead Actor was good although he appeared as if he would rather be elsewhere. Basically what you have is a Killer, a young Policeman with a high pitched ringing in his Ears which frankly had me mute the film a couple of times and a long drawn out investigation that leads nowhere! The only action was in the first and last scenes. I generally like the Australian films but this was a regrettable purchase. :(