First Hit: An interesting and sad commentary on how we misuse the natural resources on the planet.
Martin David (played by Willem Dafoe) meets up with two suspicious characters in a high-end airport looking bar.
The deal they cut is that he is to kill and retrieve something. He wants to work alone, but the obvious and increased camera cuts to one of the two men, give the audience the thought; we’re not through with this guy yet.
Arriving at his location in Tasmania we learn that he is hunting, what is believed to be, the last Tasmanian Tiger known to exist. When he gets to the home where he will be staying he finds a little girl and boy named Sass and Bike (played by Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock respectively) taking care of their drugged and depressed mother Lucy (played by Francis O’Connor).
We learn that Lucy is this way because her husband has disappeared on a project she wasn’t fully aware of – however, the audience knows. While Lucy is struggling, Jack Mindy (played by Sam Neill) is sort of taking care of the kids and Lucy but there is something sinister or not “all in” about his character.
This film is even paced and the highlight to me was Bike and Martin’s interaction about the Tasmanian Tiger and his Bike’s father. There is a subplot about loggers needing work and ecologists / environmentalists wanting to save the forests.
Seeing the beautiful landscape of Tasmania and how logging both helps and hurts the economic roots of this small specific area added to the hunting of, and possibly killing of, the last Tasmanian Tiger was sad.
Dafoe displayed a wonderful combination of intense, kind, focused and perplexity in this role. Davies was enchanting and perfect as the smart unafraid little girl. Woodlock was amazing as the boy who didn’t speak but was smart beyond compare. O’Connor was good as the children’s mother who’d lost her best friend and husband. Neill was strong as creating just enough creepiness to make one always suspect his motives. Wain Fimeri’s adaption of Julie Leigh’s novel was not remarkable but solid. Daniel Nettheim directed this cast with a clear vision.
Overall: I thought it was an interesting film but not everybody’s cup of tea.