Peter Weir follows up on his critically acclaimed masterpiece Picnic at Hanging Rock with this surrealist psychological drama. The film opens with a freak hailstorm in Australia's outback. Cut to David Burton (Richard Chamberlain), a well-to-do Sydney corporate lawyer plagued by visions of impending doom who is assigned to defend five accused of murdering a fellow Aborigine. The case itself proves to be mysterious -- no exact cause of death can be determined by the pathologist, and the accused remain strangely tight-lipped about the whole affair. As his visions grow increasingly weird and intense, Burton sees in his dream one of the five Aborigines, Chris (David Gulpili of Walkabout fame), who is drenched and clutching a sacred rock. Burton's interest in the case slides into complete obsession, and he comes to believe that not only was the murder related to an underground urban tribe of Aborigines but that Australia is about to be decimated by a massive, apocalyptic tidal wave. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
Peter Weir has made many superlative films - and this is one of his best. There is not a single wasted scene nor line of dialogue in this apocalyptic meditation. A uniformly strong cast and atmospheric score throughout with an intelligent, thoughtful plot.
One of the forgotten masterpieces of 1970's Australian cinema. At times exquisite and builds to its enigmatic climax, with a pace that affords the viewer the opportunity to become absorbed and enraptured, by the nature of being caught in a moment of plausible disbelief. Needs to be made widely available on DVD.
I am surprised by the reviews below. I enjoyed this movie; the end is not so hard to figure out-- the predicted natural disaster is fothcoming after all... As for the plot, it is kind of slow and quirky, but easy to tell when he is dreaming and when he is not, and whether you categorize it as sci-fi or fantasy, it is also a unique glimpse into some of the aboriginal tribal ways.
I truly didn't get what I expected from this movie. I tried to stay with it, but I found myself fast forwarding because it dragged! Left a lot of unanswered questions. Skip this one. I do not recommend it.
I had fond memories of this film, and was excited to rent it. Once I watched it again, I couldn't figure out what I thought was so great (well, Richard Chamberlain). My memories were faulty, combining several scenes into something else.
The film is very slow, and I did fast-forward. Worth renting to say you've seen it.