A suicide/murder brings an Australian Federal Agent back to his hometown where he must solve the crime while dealing with a murder that took place twenty years ago. Eric Bana definitely made The Dry a candidate for Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection.
The Dry is an Australian mystery/crime film based on the popular Jane Harper novel of the same name. Directed by Robert Connolly, the film stars Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Julia Blake, Bruce Spence, John Polson, Joe Klocek, BeBe Bettencourt, Keir O’Donnell, and Matt Nable.
The crime takes place in the arid area of Kiewarra Australia where a horrific drought has practically ruined most of the farms. This is a place that is so hot…so dry…that the townsfolk have a healthy fear of bushfires. Think of the recent 2019/2020 bushfires that plagued Australia, and you get the picture.
Federal Agent, Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral of a childhood friend, Luke Hadler (Martin Dingle Wall) and his family. According to Sergeant Greg Raco (Keir O’Donnell) who found the bodies, Luke killed his wife and his son but left the infant daughter alive. Luke then drove out to a deserted area and killed himself. There is no motive for Luke’s massacre of his family
Falk is not respected by a few townsfolk because they believe that he was responsible for the death of a teenage girl, Ellie Deacon (BeBe Bettencourt) twenty years earlier. Although Aaron had an alibi on the day that Ellie is found dead…he claimed that he was with his friend Luke, the Deacon family is still saying that Aaron had something to do with her death. Aaron decides to stay and help Sergeant Raco with the investigation after Luke’s parents (Julia Blake and Bruce Spence) beg him to help clear their son’s name.
Via flashbacks, we learn that teenage Aaron (Joe Klocek) and Luke (Sam Corlett) were good friends who hung out with Gretchen (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Ellie. Aaron likes Ellie, but Ellie is a victim of abuse. Her father (William Zappa) is so angry that Ellie’s mother ran away from his abuse…that he takes his anger out of his daughter. Ellie was supposed to meet Aaron for a swim but never showed up. Later that day, she is found murdered. We, the viewers, are led to believe that the murder of Ellie, and what happened to Luke and his family are somehow connected. Everyone is a suspect, especially after Raco and Aaron discover a discrepancy in the school’s books that Karen (Rosanna Lockhart) was working on for Principal Whitlam (John Polson).
Eric Bana brings substance to his character in a way that is both surprising and much appreciated. This film keeps you on the edge of your seat because there are so many suspects and no one is completely innocent including our protagonist, Aaron.
I was floored at the very end when Aaron Falk and Sergeant Raco solve the suicide/murders, but more so by what Aaron finds later at his and Ellie’s secret spot.
The Dry will be available on May 21, and this is one film that you will want to see.