There’s something strangely comforting in these small-town murder mystery movies. Most of them are based on a novel, like The Dry the latest who done it movie from Australia. As soon as you saw that this movie is coming from the land down under, you knew a couple of things. First of all, G’day. Second of all, it’s going to feature magnificent vistas of the sun-scorched outback. Yes, if there’s anything the Aussies can do it’s to take advantage of their wild, exotic, and mostly untouched nature. Secondly, there will be some offbeat humor. I mean, for me just hearing their accents is enough to give me a chuckle and that warm feeling in my belly. Probably stemming from all those times I watched Crocodile Dundee dreaming of getting that fucking knife. And finally, the acting will be spot on.
And while The Dry features a few familiar faces, you wouldn’t know it as they all surrendered to telling this story in the best way possible. Eric Bana, who hasn’t aged a day, was great with his very subdued performance along with the legend that is Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2 – Gyro guy). Right off the bat, we start with a scene of a grisly murder, setting up the mystery in such a way that you immediately connect with it. All small towns are alike and every fucked up small town is not so fucked up in its own way. The Dry also explores several other issues apart from the main crime one. From mental health issues over the return to hometown to farm life. Each of them is subtly looked at, without any patronizing or preachy vibes fitting in with the general tone of the movie.
Aaron Falk is a long way from his rural hometown of Kiewarra. He’s now a Federal Agent, living and working in a big and bustling city. However, after hearing about the tragedy that happened in Kiewarra, he knows that the return to the place he grew up is imminent. Apart from the usual emotions that such a journey evokes, Aaron also has two additional ones. The reason he left town is still haunting him after all these years and soon after his return, he will be prompted to do some digging around the dreadful events that brought him back.
As its title suggests, The Dry is taking place during one of the worst draughts this town has ever seen. You can simply feel the lack of water in every scene and the appropriate cinematography only highlights that. Everything about this movie was done by the book, not just the screenplay. The camerawork, production values, and editing were all top-notch. Just the way they should be in a movie like this. A movie where you sort of tune off and let it take you on this two-hour ride. So choose your favorites and see how you fare in this who done it a murder mystery. If I had to find one word to describe this movie it would be tasteful. Sort of like English period dramas where you know everything will fall back into its place eventually.
Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Who Done It Movies. Enjoy.
Director: Robert Connolly
Writer: Harry Cripps, Robert Connolly, Jane Harper, Samantha Strauss
Cast: Eric Bana, Genevieve O’Reilly, Keir O’Donnell, John Polson, Julia Blake, Bruce Spence, William Zappa
Fun Facts: Shot in late 2018, they were intending on releasing it on New Year’s Day 2020. Because of now obvious reasons, this didn’t come to fruition and The Dry was finally available for streaming in late May of 2021.