Baywatch behind the candelabra
ACMI, 21/03 3:00pm
Running time: 93m
Cost: $19.50 (Melbourne Queer Film Festival)
Rating: 4/10 (ME 2/5, DP 2/5)
When newcomer Phil (Jack Matthews) joins the Para Vale Surf Club, questions are raised about the value of mateship, the importance of success and the secrets the lay hidden just below the surface. Welcome to Drown where successful life saver Len (Matt Levett) is at risk of losing his crown, but he won't go down without a fight... literally. As his offsider Meat (Harry Cook) digs a (literal and figurative) hole in the sand, the events that lead to that point play out across the screen. This is a story of secrets, alcohol, personal demons, unrequited lust and self-loathing.
There is an interesting story here and the non-linear plot maintains a good pace. Sadly the performances are less good and the characters (each of them a stereotype) never seem to ring true. The cinematography is excellent and the scenes around the water are particularly well crafted. There is some confronting violent imagery used and the editing is excellent in parts though clumsy in others; this is most definitely the uncut version. Sadly the clunky script left us feeling unsatisfied and disappointed in what could've been a much better film experience. Do not resuscitate.