"Good Men Must Rise"
A Review of "Goldstone" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Ivan Sen, Writer: Ivan Sen, Starring: Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver
Rating: 4 Stars, SHOWTIME!
For my 8th film of the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film Festival, I wanted something familiar yet foreign. Of course, this meant I was headed down under and into the Australian Outback. "Goldstone" focuses on the work of Indigenous Detective Jay Swan. Based on a missing person inquiry, he is thrust upon the small frontier town of Goldstone. Stepping into this town God forgot, opens a trail of crime, corruption, and deceit. Working with a young local cop named Josh, Jay battles his own demons on a journey of justice.
So far, this has been one of my favorite films of the entire festival. Based on the reactions of the audience I watched it with, I might be in the minority but I found it to be a slow burn of a plot that was both mysterious and enthralling. For those seeking a little drama, this movie has everything: dirty cops, corrupt elected officials, human trafficking, collusion, and redemption. The filmmakers also did a remarkable job of making the land seem vast and desolate. The aerial shots made Goldstone seem alone and far from the reaches of anything normal.
This film was not without an overarching weakness and that boiled down to the dialogue. There were more than a few lines that could have used a rewrite but I didn't find them distracting or detrimental to the film. Instead, I watched the film and kept making a comparison between the American film, "Open Range" starring Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall. Both films focus on good men who are called to action through extraordinary circumstances. In "Goldstone," this means an evil corporation. For "Open Range," that meant corrupt lawman. Both films feature villains who have gone from "ripe to rotten." The battle of good versus evil is what makes this film enjoyable and worth the price of admission.
Be good to each other,