Film of the Day (08/16/18): The Rover

Written By David Michôd
Directed By David Michôd

I have an affinity for these kind of bleak, post-apocalyptic stories, and tend to give bonus points for those with a western feel such as this one. This one may not set the world on fire, but it lets you ruminate on its ashes, and where one’s priorities might lie in a world where “a fucking piece of paper” is worthless. Here we have a man, as the poster points out, with nothing else to lose. He has only his car, and whatever may be inside of it that he holds attachment to. When it is stolen by some thugs on the run in the opening scene, he simply sets off to get it back and will punish those responsible along the way. He develops an odd, almost sweet relationship with the slow-witted brother of one of the carjackers, and their scenes together are a treat to watch, as both Pearce and Pattinson give it their all. There are many gorgeous shots of a brutal landscape, hinting that the setting itself is suffering just the same as its inhabitants. The narrative is by no means flawless (in fact, the plot’s simplicity reflects that of its surroundings and characters), but the tension and pace keep the story chugging along toward its morose conclusion. There is a lot to like here!

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