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[Review] The Rover single work   review  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 [Review] The Rover
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The 1970s saw a drastic rise in film production in Australia - a result of increased government funding and tax incentives - referred to as the Australian New Wave. With this rise came increasing thematic and aesthetic engagement with the project of Western civilisation, specifically its precarious boundaries and the antinomies that manifest themselves in the residue of the Australian settler-colonial scene. This period of Australian filmmaking gave birth to Mad Max (Miller Australia 1979) and its sequel, The Road Warrior (Miller Australia 1981). While comparisons between David Michôd's The Rover and The Road Warrior are perhaps overstated at times, The Rover does pick up some very similar threads. Set in a dystopic Australian outback that serves as an extrapolation of our own world 'post-collapse', the plot of The Rover follows an unnamed man (Guy Pearce) hunting down his stolen car with recklessness and tenuously suppressed rage. His search is fuelled by the loss of something ambiguous but clearly valuable to him; it only becomes clear at the film's close that what the protagonist has been pursuing with such violent single-mindedness is the body of his dog, the loss of which simultaneously signifies the loss of his last meaningful relationship as well as a broader and more profound loss of faith in any sense of kinship. This pursuit of what was lost is mapped onto his relationship with Rey (Robert Pattinson), the younger brother of one of the car thieves, whom he kidnaps and forces to lead him along endless highways through alternatingly bleak and sublime landscapes. Along the way Rey shifts from enemy to vulnerable mentee to compatriot as they both encounter and reproduce the social decline and moral depravity of their dystopian surroundings. The film is a deftly written, deeply philosophical and moral meditation on modern life. Nonetheless, it has been largely rejected or at best wildly underappreciated by critics, often being painted as a mere brutal spectacle and nihilistic indulgence.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 7 Nov 2018 11:40:31
Subjects:
  • The Rover David Michôd , 2013 single work film/TV
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