Australasian Cinema > films >
Undertow (Miranda Nation, 2018) wr. Miranda Nation, prod. Lyn Norfor, dp Bonnie Elliott; Rob Collins, Laura Gordon, Olivia DeJonge, Josh Helman, Marianne Jade
Struggling to accept the loss of her baby, Claire becomes suspicious of her husband's relationship with a feisty young woman, Angie. When she discovers Angie is pregnant, Claire develops an increasingly irrational obsession with her that puts both their lives in danger. Only when confronted by the explosive secret behind Angie's pregnancy does Claire begin to reclaim her sanity.
Undertow’s opening image moves from a running bath tap to protagonist Claire (Laura Gordon, recently in Hoges and Joe Cinque’s Consolation), who is nursing her pregnant belly. She will soon have a stillborn baby, which draws to the surface issues with her husband Dan (Rob Collins, from Cleverman). Much of the drama revolves around a melancholic truth which, though simple, isn’t easy subject matter to explore: that some women are desperate to give birth while others are devastated when they learn they are pregnant.
While Nation presents those introductory images of Claire she cuts to a younger woman, Angie (Olivia DeJonge), partying with football player Brett (Josh Helman, who played the War Boy Slit in Mad Max: Fury Road). These two yet-to-meet characters will steer Undertow in increasingly interesting and unpredictable directions. Among the film’s surprises is an intensely thoughtful rumination on football culture, leading to questions not dissimilar to the kinds posed in [Thomas M.] Wright’s film [Acute Misfortune] about whether Australia puts the wrong kind of people on pedestals. Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian.
Garry Gillard | New: 16 August, 2018 | Now: 22 November, 2019