Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Gone Fishing", October 22, 2007
This review is from: Jindabyne (DVD)
`Jindabyne' is one of those unique cinematic experiences that keeps one alert every moment. It's an unsettling movie; one that is quietly suspenseful and disturbing, but its message is almost indelible. The moral of the story kept bringing back memories of the mid-eighties' movie 'River's Edge' River's Edge or the more recent 'Brick,' Brick) even though the atmosphere is clearly different than either one. (Not to mention mostly involving adults, rather than teenagers, this time.) The editing (Thanks to Karl Sodersten) should be given a prize.

The title is named for a town in SE Australia, a tight village in the corner of the Wales Province. The movie starts out with a woman in her car, driving down a remote dusty road. She is followed by an older man, driving a huge utility vehicle. He is trying to call attention to some danger and gets her to pull off the side of the road. As so many movies do, the scene is too brutal to show, but later, the results show her body being dumped into a rural river.

Meanwhile, back in Jindabyne, some residents are getting ready for an anticipated fishing expedition. Stewart Caine (Gabriel Byrne) is a famous former stock car racer (Significantly, it reminded me of NASCAR.) His buddies include Rocco (Stelios Yiakmis), Billy "the Kid" (Simon Stone), and Carl (John Howard). Most of the movie's focus comes from Stewart's wife, Claire (Laura Linley) who is shaken by the repercussions of their trip.

Gung ho for the catches and the camaraderie, the four men come upon the body when Stewart goes upstream intending to find a prize catch. To keep the corpse from drifting, the men tie her with fishing line. Rather than cut the trip short, they decide to keep fishing and come around to their car to call authorities two days later.

`Jindabyne' has all the components of a memorable movie. As they return to 'Jindabyne' their decisions come to haunt them as the fallout shakes the town's foundation. Questions about the value of life, racism, and festering violence shatter the core of every member of the community. As a nice parallel, Stewart and Claire's son, and Carl's daughter give into animal sacrifices, and danger lurks near everyone around as the contingency of an undertow seems perennially present, and the mysterious killer goes at large.

Although not a horror movie, there are supernatural elements in 'Jindabyne'. Even more plausible and suspenseful than most slasher films, the movie is meaningful from beginning to end. Veering close to misanthropy, the performances, particularly Linley's, an intelligent script (Beatrix Christian), and some astute directing (Ray Lawrence), 'Jindabyne' is a thoughtful and edgy film experience. (Based on the short story "So Much Water So Close to Home" by Raymond Carver.)
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 25, 2007 6:04:57 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Oct 25, 2007 6:05:48 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2007 11:28:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2007 12:54:54 PM PDT
Thanks, Steve for the positive comments. I didn't think this movie would be as absorbing as it turned out to be. I'm always very happy when a recommendation I make gets on your movie list. The only problem is I know you'll put out a better review after you've seen it. Lookin' forward to your next review, and your take--if you do decide to it--on this movie. ;>) JP

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2008 2:36:32 AM PDT
Actually, the short story is titled "So Much Water So Close to Home" by Raymond Carver...I enjoyed the movie and your review was spot on, JP. The many layers of people's lives and non-lives in the town of Jindabyne was an incredible feast IMHO. It was very hard to like anyone in this movie including the children...well, not so much Tom, he was so young but he still participated in the Guinea Pig "murder"...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2008 12:39:58 PM PDT
I appreciate your thoughts and your helpful correction. There were so many great movies to come out last year that fine ones like 'Jindabyne' hardly got noticed. I like your enthusiasm for the movie. Laura Linney deservedly is getting a lot of attention these days.
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