The Square Nash Edgerton

The Square Nash Edgerton
With David Michod's Animal Kingdom receiving rightful critical praise during its limited theatrical run — touted as one of 2010's best films by the handful of people that actually bothered to watch it — this may be the perfect time to check out yet another superlative Australian crime thriller, The Square. Described by many as an Aussie version of a Coen Brothers work due to its darkly fatalistic structure and intricate noir plotting, it's more like A Simple Plan or Red Rock West, being more defeatist than darkly humorous. Like any movie in the modern male noir canon, everything starts with a secret affair and a bag of money, when the unhappily married Carla (Clare van der Boom) discovers the proceeds of one of her husband's crimes in their laundry room. Seeing an opportunity for escape, she promptly tries to convince her similarly married fuck-buddy Raymond (David Roberts) to steal it so they can run away together. Instead, he decides to advance money secretly from his construction business to pay a criminal named Billy (Joel Edgerton) to burn down her house. Needless to say, things don't go well. Like Carla's dog repeatedly swimming across the small lake that separates him from Raymond's poodle despite reports of crocodile sightings, every risky move and stupid decision leads to more complications and increasingly dire consequences. Perhaps in this The Square is partly a form of audience punishment, engrossing us in a narrative that never leads us to believe it will all work out. Even lingering close-ups of Raymond and Carla's faces in moments of distress drive this idea home, but still, the film compels and devastates. Along with some deleted scenes and a music video from Jessica Chapnik, there is an extended Pre-Visualization supplement that features many very personal behind-the-scenes conversations and candid discussions. There is also a short film called Spider that was written by both Nash Edgerton and David Michod that's simultaneously shocking and inappropriately funny. This DVD is worth checking out. (Alliance)