Saturday, November 5, 2011
After visiting Hobart a couple of weeks ago I thought about moving to Hobart – there's nothing alarming about this statement for anyone who knows me well. I always talk about moving: house, city, country. Sometimes just because my place is getting messy. I tend to reach for extreme solutions. There were a lot of lovely things about Hobart but I was struck by its affordability. It's a city where you can buy a house with harbour views for under $500k. And I'm sure the home work commute would be a cinch – if you had a job. But after sitting through The Hunter on Friday night, I just took that daydream and tossed it over my shoulder. My expectations of the film were as follows: I would watch 90 minutes of Willem Dafoe sniff eucalyptus leaves as he traverses the Tasmanian wilderness searching for the extinct (or is it?) Tasmanian Tiger. Instead it was a thriller of sorts, with rednecks pitted against hippies, a not particularly suspenseful suggestion of menace and a conclusion marked by two acts of horrific brutality. I was left disappointed. (Warning: spoiler alert)Is it so terrible to long for the hunter to avenge the murder of an innocent woman and child, both of whom he most likely loved, by hunting the murderer down? Too obvious? Oh, okay you're going to go after the tiger, instead. I'm not sure who the director is but let's just say I don't think anyone will be heralding them as a bold new talent.
Driving home afterward I wondered: has American cinema taught us nothing? And what would I, neither hippie nor redneck, do in Tasmania? Keep close to the harbour and lock the doors.