Kieran Darcy-Smith

review wish you were here

A man and a pregnant woman lay on the beach, soaking in the sun and talking. Alice (Felicity Price) asks Jeremy (Antony Starr) if he could go anywhere where would he go, and he answers simply that he would stay there. The “there” in question is a small town on the southwestern shores of Cambodia, and after a brief montage of two couples enjoying a week free of responsibility we see them celebrating their last night there with some illicit pills. The next morning is a blur as Alice’s husband, Dave (Joel Edgerton), wanders a dawn-lit field, disheveled and bloodied. Jeremy meanwhile, instigator of the trip and brand new boyfriend to Alice’s sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer), has gone missing. Wish You Were Here is a dramatic thriller that explores guilt, doubt and responsibility through its various relationships. Husband to wife, sister to sister, and stranger to stranger are pairings that get tested by way of a mystery involving one man’s disappearance and the truth hiding just below the surface. There’s an interesting story here, but much of its power is neutered by a structure heavily reliant on flashback reveals. Happily, thanks in large part to the performances, there’s still enough juice left to make for an engaging-enough watch.

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Wish You Were Here

Okay, movies, we get it now. We shouldn’t go on vacation anymore, it only seems to lead to sex, drugs, criminal trouble, and death. What’s that, you say? That was only Spring Breakers? There are plenty of wholesome vacation-based films to enjoy out there? Fine, why don’t you go ahead and just book my ticket straight to Kieran Darcy-Smith‘s Wish You Were Here then? Ah, gotcha! Looks like there is nothing but sex, drugs, criminal trouble, and death in that one, too! Of course, the new film from Blue-Tongue Films members Darcy-Smith (who co-wrote the film with star Felicity Price) is very, very different than Harmony Korine’s latest opus, but it still will keep us away from beach vacations for quite awhile. The film features rising star Joel Edgerton as Price’s husband, Teresa Palmer as her sister, and Antony Starr as Palmer’s new boyfriend, with the four heading off on a Southeast Asian trip that ends in tragedy. Turns out, four might leave on that trip, but only three return, with Price, Edgerton, and Palmer forced home after Starr goes missing in a very peculiar fashion. Just what is going on here? While we can’t tell just yet (this one is definitely twisty), it certainly looks like Edgerton might need to retain a lawyer ASAP. Stay in the safety of your own home, in your own town, far away from tropical beaches and debauchery, and check out the first trailer for Wish You Were Here after the break.

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