Adapting books to films is a tricky affair because the negative and positive comparisons are so important. ‘The Dry’ is a long-awaited 2020 Australian mystery film based on Jane Harper’s book of the same name (2016). Roadshow Films released the film last year in Australia on January 1, 2021. The film was well received by critics. Reports say that IFC Films will release the same in the United States today. Unlike before, when a film’s release meant a national release in theaters, things have changed quite a bit now. So, the question arises, How exactly did you get to watch the film?
Before we get into that detail some background info on the film. Jane Harper’s book is a bestseller, and the film is sure to be a success despite the fact that most of us know what happens in the end. The film was written and directed by Robert Conolly and produced by Bruna Papandrea and Reese Witherspoon. The film features Eric Bana as the protagonist, Federal agent Aaron Falk. Genevieve O’Reilly and Keir O ‘Donell also star in the film.
Before the pandemic caused devastation around the world, Australia was experiencing an unusually hot 2019-2020 wildfire season. This period is known as Black Summer, and 18.6 million acres burned, killing hundreds of people, destroying thousands of homes and businesses, and burning nearly three billion animals alive. Robert Connolly The Dry is a small Australian murder mystery town against the backdrop of this drought.
After more than 20 years, Aaron returns to his drought-stricken hometown of Kiewerra (fictional), to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke. It is assumed that Luke killed his wife and son before shooting himself. Somehow she saved the baby. Luke’s parents, shaken by the death of their family member, ask Aaron to stay longer and investigate the case without being formally involved. Aaron’s return brings to mind the old mystery surrounding the death of a teenage girl who was romantically involved with him. The screenplay for The Dry remains largely book-like except for a few cases such as Eric Bana (who has a very different personality) as Aaron when compared to the nerdy version of the character. Fortunately, the story is more like a crime thriller than a Gothic drama. The film received an IMDb rating of 7/10, and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 4/5 rating.
Back and forth
This film shoots a sequence of flashbacks interspersed with the current incident. Flashbacks show the city is still filled with greenery and the river is a favorite spot for swimming. Avoiding the elements commonly used to depict life in Australia, this film takes a different approach and still gives you the feel of the place. The drowning of Ellie, a troubled teenager interested in Aaron and Luke in the river, left many unanswered questions and left the locals somewhat hostile towards Aaron. So in the end, Aaron had to leave the city. Returning to the same place after 20 years made him both nostalgic and troubled. It is clear in many ways that Aaron has been and is being treated like an outsider after being away from the city for two whole decades. Bana as Aaron puts on a soulful performance. Her conflicting feelings, her understanding of death, past and present, were all beautifully described by Bana.
Following the themes discussed in Harper’s book such as secret gay relationships, child sexual abuse, gambling addiction, questions about the father, what could be the reasons for the melodrama, is portrayed with much sensibility due to Conolly’s direction.
How to watch 2021 movies?
The Dry is available to watch in theaters across the United States starting today, May 21. Those who don’t want to go to the cinema and watch it on the big screen or can find it streaming on Amazon Prime. This film is distributed by IFC Films. As of now, a UK release date has not been announced.