Dry arid outback Australia in all its glory, is the vast setting of this simmering thriller following the curious exploits of two strangers on a road trip, who find a random colossal, rock of half buried gold.
A quiet unassuming man with no name (Zac Efron) arrives in a dusty town with a preorganised local driver, also with no name (Anthony Hayes) waiting to take him across barren landscape to some place known as, The Compound.
Both men are not conservationists, only slightly seemingly enjoying each other’s company. Looking for a better life, the visitor hopes to begin again upon arrival whilst his sardonic driver points out there’s no guaranteed bliss in this part of the world.
It is during a roadside overnight stopover that the discovery of a massive chunk of pure gold is made.
Poking out of the ground but way too difficult to move without mechanical assistance, so the boys decide to split up in order to protect then claim their prize. The visitor waits by the nugget whilst the dubious local assures he’ll return with an excavator.
The rest of this is kind of ‘Castaway‘ without Wilson, an unrestrained psychological journey of greed, determination, deception and subordinate refuge. Almost unrecognisable Zac Efron is at the top of his dramatic game. Solid low-key brilliance.
Well-acted also by Hayes, remaining opulent as the adversary.
As writer, producer, director and star, Anthony Hayes delivers a perceptive, brutal drama which kept me guessing.
The tiny cast rounds out with sensational talent, Susie Porter, watch her closely.
Patience is rewarded in this efficient, down under indie mystery.
Thriller | Australia, 2022 | 15 | Sky Cinema | Dir.Anthony Hayes | Zac Efron, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter
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