Circle of Lies

Circle of Lies (Matt Cerwen, 2012) aka Short Beach, wr. Adrian Moses, Scott Herford, prod. Steve Jaggi; Hilary Caitens, Ryan Harrison, Anna Lawrence; teen drama; Oz release August 2013

This is a piece of shit which does not need to exist: it makes the world a worse place. Disclaimer: I only watched ten minutes of it, but the other nine confirmed what I saw in the first.

... the film never seems contrived or forced. ... Hilary Caitens is heartbreakingly fragile as Denise, accused of being a slut and condemned by the entire school. She is the one telling the story, and while you could say it's a message board of a film, that's exactly what it sets out to be. Andrew Urban, Urban Cinefile.

While there are some valid points about bullying and sexual promiscuity in this Aussie drama by first time director Matt Cerwen, the film is more successful in depicting its mood of a beach-side schoolies-like atmosphere than offering a cohesive story with real characters. First time screenwriter Scott Herford's diary-like format is fine, offering a structure through which we discover the series of events that transpire, but the film does not seem to know whether it is trying to be a drama or a comi-drama in the vein of Mean Girls, when the stereotypical characters are not large, entertaining or funny enough. From the inclusion of reachout.com logo at the end of the film, it is clear that the filmmakers are motivated by the serious message, but the circle of lies concocted by a conniving, would-be school princess seem a little too far removed from reality. Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile.

See also this review.


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