An Australian film set entirely in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, starring the awesome Radha Mitchell (who also produces) and the low-key Joel Edgerton (you may remember him from Kinky Boots). A relationship drama about a pair of Australian husband and wife who descend upon India to collect the Indian orphan baby they have adopted, only to be set back by bureaucracy – which begins to test their relationship as it gradually exposes their problems the way low tide reveals previously hidden beach rocks.
It sounds dramatically plain, which is why I almost never saw it (it wasn't on my schedule of movies until fairly last minute), and even then I only saw it because I read that Mitchell and Edgerton are in it. But it's a beautifully realised film - the relationship stuff is nuanced and affecting (thanks to both direction and acting), and the drama is strong and never a false note – never a moment of false melodrama. In other words, the relationship problems were, like real ones, at once simple and complex. The interaction between husband and wife thus feels real, indicating a highly matured guiding hand behind the film.
The husband and wife also don't come across as just a pair of inconsiderate, whiny Westerners wandering noisily through exotic India, though whine they do and exotic as the Indian settings are. The wife also seems to undergo a transcending, meditative experience as she begins to get to know India and its people, while the husband can only relate to it all through his New Age-y knowledge of such things.
Transformers girl Isabel Lucas is here as well in a small role that functions just to irritate the wife about her husband.
What I was most impressed with was the cinematography – in particular, the look of the images, which looks crisp and clear with a colour tone that is at once muted and saturated (not sure how to describe it). It is such a shame that there isn't a Q&A, because I would really like to ask director Claire McCarthy what film stock she used to shoot the movie. (McCarthy was in fact present in Pusan, and came onstage before the film began to introduce it, but she said that she was told there wasn't enough time to do a Q&A session after. I wished she had hung around after the film.) DP is Denson Baker.
Another element worth pointing out for praise is the score by Michael Yezerski, which is appropriately poignant and ethereal and easily puts us in a state to observe the characters and sometimes to enter their emotional state.
Did I Like It? Yeah, liked it enough.
Did I Fall Asleep? Nearly did at a couple of points.