In short, director Jeremy Sims’ (yep, that Jeremy Sims) film is a loco that’s not so much interested in making cabbage and showing off its toys (which most films, even Australian films, are primarily concerned with – lets be honest), as it is the characters and captivation – and depending on how much substance you like with your long, tall glass of cinema
Steve Le Marquand, Tom Budge, Gigi Edgley, Glenn Hazeldine, Gillian Jones
“Last Train to Freo” might be travelling along a different track to the usual mainstream feature, but its end of the line is a place that’s a lot more rewarding, heartening and satisfying than the pricier, larger-scale pics that take that usual, more heavily-rode, route.
In short, director Jeremy Sims’ (yep, that Jeremy Sims) film is a loco that’s not so much interested in making cabbage and showing off its toys (which most films, even Australian films, are primarily concerned with – lets be honest), as it is the characters and captivation – and depending on how much substance you like with your long, tall glass of cinema, it might just be your poison. As a screenwriter myself, it satisfied near as much as a triple sambuca. It’s a classic example of how simply filming what’s on the page – results in premium grade goods.
The simple things in life are often the best, says the commercial, and “Freo” is proof of that. The film, a claustrophobic drama/thriller, set primarily in the one location, and with only a handful of actors, manages to draw it’s audience in just as much as that Kryptonian man in tights, heavily-sideburned clawmaster, or code-breaking historian – and it’s all thanks to some superb writing (by Reg Cribb), some marvellous performances (the four leads are superb – never for a minute do you see a well-rehearsed actor up there), and primarily, some intricate and rather proficient direction by former TV star (who can forget his legendary ass flashing on “Chances”) turned theatre, and now film director, Sims. The man definitely knows what makes a good story, and coupled with Cribb’s script, gives us one of the ‘realest’ films of the year.
“The Breakfast Club on a train” – but with a killer sting under it’s bonnet – if you will, the film is set in Western Australia, over the course of a hot Summers night, where two ex-con friends (Steve Le Marquand & Tom Budge) are taking the train to Fremantle. Pretty much only interested in causing trouble and mucking a ruckus, they start to get under the skin of the few – who enter the picture, and therefore the train, at different times – passengers who enter their carriage. Things take a surprising, and rather tense, turn when an intriguing link is exposed between a couple of the passengers.
Granted, the film does take a slightly cocky turn – seemingly seeing just how much it can get away with – at the early end of it’s third act, and there are a few obvious shifts in tone that might put some off, but they’re small beefs. Overall, it’s a quality production.
All aboard for the best Australian film of the year – book yourself a seat on the “Last Train to Freo”.
Reviewer : Clint Morris