(Matthew Macfadyen), a battle weary war photographer, returns to his remote
New Zealand hometown, when his father dies, and faces the past he left behind.
To his surprise, he also finds the sixteen-year-old Celia (Emily Barclay),
the daughter of his first girlfriend, who hungers for the world beyond her
including the members of both their families, frown upon the friendship
and when Celia goes missing, Paul becomes increasingly persecuted as the
prime suspect in her disappearance. As the violent and urgent truth gradually
emerges, Paul is forced to confront the family tragedy and betrayal he ran
from as a youth, and to face the grievous consequences of silence and secrecy
that has surrounded his entire adult life.
Aptly titled, this movie is indeed about everything that happened in the
Based on the
third novel by one of New Zealand most prominent novelist Maurice Gee, critically
acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker, Brad Mcgann had directed the movie in an
unhurried but captivating fashion, which keeps audience guessing till the
Macfadyen) was a war journalist with burdens that hinders his otherwise
successful career. No one including his brother, Andrew (Colin Moy), knows
the reason he runs away from home during his teens. It is only upon his
returns to his father’s den many years later that the mysterious past
creep to haunt him. More complication arises when Paul gets acquainted with
a charming teenager, Celia (Emily Barclay), who
happens to find refuge in the den from her dilapidated family.
The den is
a secret place, which the younger Paul and his father had shared wine, music
and literature. This is also the same den, which young Paul had a romantic
rendezvous with his first love Jackie (Jodie Rimmer), who was now mother
of Celia. But what could have happen within that driven young Paul away?
What is the truth behind Paul mother’s death? And what anchor role
Celia would play, in the mystery surrounding the den?
Such were the daunting questions throughout audience’s mind.
decent excuses, every family man seems to need a secret hideout, away from
his wife and kids. Unfortunately, most fathers’ hideout is places
where hideous events may have happened and dark secrets buried. As the plots
piece together like a jigsaw, it was not surprising that the anticipated
tragedy were linked to the den.
directions move to and fro the timeline and are careful for not revealing
the full truth to the audience. Though movies with regular flash back are
not anything fresh, still the formula succeeded in keeping the audience
cinematographer, Stuart Dryburgh (Bridget Jones’s Diary) mastery in
rendering every frame to perfection makes the already breathtaking New Zealand’s
mountainous and suburbs looks even better! Pay attention to all the photographs
in the movie - The “feel” behind each picture would definitely
goes to the scriptwriter for devoting much time on characters development,
which are the essential elements in any family mystery drama. However, it
is a pity that the main casts, Matthrew Macfadyen and Emily Barclay looks
awkward in their roles. Should they have succeeded to lift audience with
their questionable friendship, the finale sentiments could have been more
the supporting casts like Colin Moy, Jodie Rimmer, and teenage actor Jimmy
Keen have excelled in their performance. The former two are crowned Best
Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for their roles in the movie.
Miranda Otto on the other hand did not leave any notable performance this
time in spite of her reputation in Lord of the Rings.
snail-paced dysfunctional family’s drama may not go well with most
Singaporean. Nevertheless, the importance of communication and morality
were worthy lessons reinforced. One thing for sure when it comes to family
issue: Silence, is never golden.
The disc does not contain any bonus feature.
movie soundtracks were excellent! Hence, if your home entertainment system
boasts the Dolby Digital 5.1, do turn it on. Overall, there are no apparent
problems with the disc’s audio.
colours composition is perfectly rendered onto the DVD, giving you solid
and rich hues during playback. However, there was jump spotted nearing the
finale. Fortunately, that split-seconds imperfection didn’t cause
much displeasure in viewing the movie.
Review by Leosen Teo