Continuing my series of off-the-cuff reviews from the 2009 Melbourne International Film Festival...
RED RIDING: 1983
(Dir. Anand Tucker, 2009)
The final chapter in this grim trilogy was, regrettably, the most laboured, weighed down as it was by the need to pull together the various plot threads established in the preceding two films.
Nor was the complex story aided by constant flashbacks to past events, though I appreciated the filmmaker's willingness to credit his audience with the intelligence to recognise when we were witnessing events set in a previous time without having to blatantly signpost them. That said, it was sometimes a struggle to recognise or remember key characters as a result, to the detriment of the story's concluding big reveal.
David Morrissey (pictured, top) was strong as Detective Chief Superintentdent Maurice Jobson, a guilt-ridden copper finally sick of his corrupt cohorts' excess; but the film really belonged to Mark Addy (pictured, right) as John Piggott, a third rate local solicitor compelled into action by the nagging of his conscience when an innocent lad (Gerard Kearns) is arrested by the police on suspicion of abducting a young girl. Despite the man responsible being dead - or so we think - it seems the killer responsible for the child murders depicted in Red Riding 1974 is active once more.
All the hens come home to roost - literally - in a melodramatic ending which seemed at odds with the tone of the film to date. An unsatisfying end to a flawed but fascinating screen trilogy.
Rating: Two and a half stars