The Square (2008) Directed by Nash Edgerton. With David Roberts, Claire van der Boom and Joel Edgerton.
The result of a creative partnership between brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton, The Square is an Australian drama/thriller that centres around an affair between a middle-aged man (David Roberts) and a younger woman (Claire van der Boom).
Think Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat but waaaay less sexy, and minus the saxophone accompaniment. Tonally, ‘The Square’ is a lot more akin to other recent Australian drama’s such David Michod’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ or Justin Kurzels ‘Snowtown’. Both those films had a strong under current of menace that bubbled under the surface and in some measure, the same might be said of ‘The Square’.
While it doesn’t invest much time familiarising with it’s characters, the film has a strong sense of direction that aims to give you enough information to decide for yourself how you feel about this couple and also offers the opportunity for the viewer to question what you might choose to do in similar circumstances. Ultimately, the film is about the lure of temptation and how many moral obstacles the characters are willing to attempt to overcome. David Roberts and Claire van der Boom are both excellent in the central roles and their escalating anxiety and desperation is strongly felt. The supporting cast, including co-writer Joel Edgerton and Anthony Hayes are also first rate, and although it’s hard to imagine the film creating huge waves, like Body Heat, it plays it’s tension well but with none of the softness around the edges. 3.5/5