The 23 different prizes undoubtedly suggest a remarkable film. Considering the fact that „Snowtown” is a film based on true events, makes this Aussie picture a harrowing experience, filled with dreadful analysis of human dark nature and the devastating influence of one’s beliefs. On the other hand, the message behind this unflinching drama, stated rather coherently, proves that in some cases, predestination really exists and there’s no escape from it. The life of Jamie, sixteen-year-old boy, living in an abandoned neighborhood in Adelaide, is a series of drama, which starts with his mother’s partner – a child molester. The broken family, mourning deeply, is afterwards taken care of by John, a charismatic, new partner of Elizabeth. As Jamie strives to find peace in his own mind, John quickly becomes an important person for the boy, but as he gains his trust, he also quickly shows his true nature as well. John, confident about the righteousness of his deeds, starts to act as a savior to the local community – becoming one of the most harrowing criminals in the history of Australia. “Snowtown” reveals a story of a serial killer from a completely different point of view than it is usually served by filmamkers, which happens to be immensely beneficial for the movie itself. Justin Kurzel looks for intimate details of the story, purposely avoiding the juridical aspect of the crimes – the reality, that we observe is disgusting and forlorn, with no light or hope. The director avoids extensive criticism or unequivocal statements, rather being focused on the spreading madness, which he passionately portrays. The labyrinth within which Jamie is confined, was never meant to have any way out – his life from the beginning is a miserable, bitter story, as he’s always forced to something he does not want nor expect. In this gruesome reality, John’s deeds are not justifiabe, but somehow understandable, as well as the path Jamie is choosing. Or more accurately, is forced to choose. There is a need to flatter the artistic vision of “Snowtown”. The ominous music perfectly fits the hallucinatory artwork, especially well in the slow motion cuts. The cast delivers their roles in a confident manner, with twisted-minded John played by Daniel Henshall and intense, introvert and absent-minded Jamie (Lucas Pittaway), whose characters perfectly exhibit the haunting script. The dirty, a bit dusty colors, which remain unchanged throughout the entire film, quickly define the tone of the way “Snowtown” is narrated– calculatingly, pulsingly, disqueitingly. Apart from the technical aspects of Kurzel’s drama, there is the sole content of “Snowtown”, which not only shocks by the ubiquitous violence and rot crawling out from every corner, but also gives an interesting insight into the psychology of a boy, whose life is a series of traumatic events. Kurzel shows with narrative brutality how easily Jamie is being manipulated and played into John’s sick perception of reality. Especially the progressive transformation of Jamie, his internally waged war against his own conscience and devilish impact of John, who acts as a sort of an angel of retribution – those are the reasons why “Snowtown” is such an emotion-devastating movie. We get to observe the evil, which finds the way to win in a very crooked, miserable reality. “Snowtown” is not a film you can enjoy – some will definitely be discouraged by the ubiquitous violence and the very slow tempo of the plot. Nevertheless, I found the cinematography blended with music a sensational mixture, truly praise-worthy. Apart from that, Kurzel’s drama left me a bit apathetic and depressed. If you feel encouraged to watch “Snowtown”, prepare some stupid comedy as a “follow up” – just in case you want to soothe your demolished mind.
UMP Grade: 42/50
(Cinematography: 9, Plot: 8, Acting: 8, Soundtrack: 9, Quaintness: 8)