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Wish You Were Here: A Film Review


Wish You Were HereIndie studio Entertainment One (eOne) picked up Sundance World Dramatic Competition film Wish You Were Here for a probable theatrical release of Fall 2012.

The Australian film follows four friends as they let loose on a vacation in Southeast Asia. Breathtaking sequences shot by cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin and edited by Jason Ballantine expose the culture, the marketplaces, the raves, and the high-octane happiness that the tourists indulge in. The tragedy and mystery of this dramatic thriller is that by the end of the trip, only three of the four friends return home.

Told from a post-trip perspective, Wish You Were Here flashes back and forth between past and present. The film stars Australian actress Felicity Price as Alice Flannery. Price, an accomplished actress who shares a writing credit on the screenplay along with director Kieran Darcy-Smith, stars alongside Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, Warrior, The Thing) who plays her husband Dave Flannery. The pair agree to vacation with Alice’s young and comely sister Steph, played by Teresa Palmer, and her new boyfriend Jeremy King, played by Antony Starr.

The mental anguish the remaining three face tortures them as they try to work with the authorities and assimilate back into day-to-day life with one member of their party now missing. As the days pass, the seemingly tight-knit group breaks down and holes appear in the fabric of their kinship and friendship. As with any good thriller, there is more to the story than first appears. As the plot thickens, the strain of the tragedy threatens to destroy them, and it is only until the horrible truth emerges that anyone has any hope of moving on.

The only issue with this well-paced thriller is that it does not use its nonlinear storytelling to its fullest advantage. The third act could have done a better job to weave together the past with the present for more pulse-pounding thrills. Regardless, the acting is superb and combined with the direction, cinematography, and editing, this thriller is not one to miss.




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