2014 / Director. Kasimir Burgess.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
FELL is a new Australian drama from first time feature director, Kasimir Burgess, starring Matt Nable, Daniel Henshall & Jacqueline McKenzie. It tells the story of a father dealing with the loss of his daughter who was killed by a negligent truck driver near a forestry plantation in the Victorian wilderness. With the driver in prison, the father leaves his suburban life behind and moves to a ramshackle hut in the bush near to where is little girl was killed. He begins working as a lumberjack and when the killer is released from prison the two find themselves working shoulder to shoulder. The killer is unaware of his workmate's identity and the film explores a deep seeded anguish and desire for revenge. Needless to say FELL is a heavy film and demands your attention. It's very much a spiritual film with much of the focus being on the father character and his inner thoughts. He is in a constant state of anguish and contemplation and Matt Nable has dug deep to deliver a powerful and affecting performance. Daniel Henshall is also excellent as the ex-con working to rebuild his life outside of prison. He is such a versatile actor and is generally great in almost everything, although this is his best turn since his debut in SNOWTOWN. Director Kasimir Burgess demonstrates a natural skill and restraint with his haunting tale of anguish and guilt. The Victorian wilderness is used beautifully and becomes a character unto itself. The gorgeous landscapes and hostile terrain provide a surreal setting for these characters to be dealing with their pain. The script by Natasha Pincus may as well have been written by an accomplished writer. You would never know it was a first time feature for her as she dares to focus on moments of reflection, favouring captivating inner-reflections & emptiness over unnecessary dialogue. This is a film that isn't about words, but rather the thoughts and actions of the characters. I am sure FALL will test some people's tolerance. It's a smart film and it is thought provoking... and it requires patience. Some may say that the story meanders, where others will say that it's eloquent and fluent. It resonated with me in a big way. It felt almost musical and transcendent and it's haunting themes cast my mind back to other films like IN THE WINTER DARK and THE HUNTER. It impressed the heck out of me and it deserves your attention.