The Dry Movie Review
Juxtaposed against a desolate and desperate environment that is overshadowed only by a bleaker set of parched characters, The Dry is an immensely satisfying murder mystery that quickly establishes itself as one of the best movies of the year.
Eric Bana plays a city detective who returns to his small hometown in the outback to casually investigate the murder-suicide inflicted by his high school best friend; his presence stirs up all kinds of dark secrets as well as a confrontation with his own troubled past—oh, and that his friend, despite widespread belief, probably wasn’t the one to massacre his wife and child after all.
Bana is excellent, as is the rest of the supporting cast, but it’s the efficient, enthralling storytelling by director Robert Connolly and co-writer Harry Cripps (working from the novel by Jane Harper) that is all but assured to capture your attention. Harper’s novel lays an intricate web of seedy characters, red herrings, and personal secrets that, brought to screen, delivers a film that works as both a keep-you-guessing thriller and emotionally personal drama. Few mysteries are able to balance constant sleuthing with gripping drama—they tend to lean to one end of the spectrum or the other—but The Dry declares “we are going to do it all.” And does it.
There’s really not a single thing I’d change about this movie; it’s sensational. It’s also one of the rare films I’ve seen that I immediately want to watch again, if only for pure entertainment value.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.