- Director:Marc Gracie
- Cast:Louise Crawford, Scott Gooding, Hazem Shammas, Gary Sweet
- Release Date:September 02, 2010
- Distributor:The Pack
- Running time:74 minutes
- Film Worth:$12.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
While the film isn’t perfect, it delivers an intriguing and swiftly paced narrative.
The Tumbler helps answer the question about what kinds of stories Australian cinema should be telling. It's at once universal, international and uniquely Australian. An intriguing drama centred on the search for hidden gold in the desert, it's a jigsaw puzzle made from pieces of our history, our landscape, and our cultural richness.
It's about four people whose lives intersect in the Central Australian desert: American soldier Private Jen O'Leary (Aussie actress Louise Crawford); tough bloke safecracker Hurtle Hamilton (Gary Sweet) and his Afghani-Australian partner-in-crime, Tahir (Hazem Shammas), and indigenous postie Nikki (Suzannah Bayes-Morton). Although Sweet is rock solid, his co-stars hit a few bum notes, yet they're interesting characters and their interplay is often tense.
Marc Gracie (who helmed the poorly received You And Your Stupid Mate) handles the film's dramatic flashpoints with flair, while Chris Thompson's script moves swiftly. Sweet's opening narration, coupled with the view of the bumpy desert road, hooks you before you're even two minutes into the film.
But The Tumbler isn't perfect. It falters towards the end as it only semi-successfully takes in wide ranging themes about humanity, while a surprising twist leads to a cringingly cliched monologue from one character.
Perhaps the debate about homegrown cinema and the tales it tells should be about the art of storytelling itself. Whether Australian films convey stories that could only happen here or not doesn't really matter. What matters is that there's a plot that intrigues, characters that breathe, and ideas to think about. The Tumbler - which follows the current local trend of being attractively shot and framed - is one for those who enjoy their food for thought wrapped up in a damn fine yarn.