Year:  2018

Director:  Corey Pearson

Rated:  M

Release:  October 4, 2018

Distributor: Bonsai

Running time: 90 minutes

Worth: $17.00
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Jessica Falkholt, Jerome Meyer, Jacqueline McKenzie, Eamon Farren

Let Harmony wash over you; it will touch and reward you.

Devised as Part 1 of ‘The Five Frequencies Saga’, Harmony will forever be remembered as the first and final lead role for actress Jessica Falkholt, who passed away in January this year after a car accident that also killed both of her parents and younger sister. Even without this prior knowledge, Harmony is eerie and cathartic.

Falkholt is the title character, a young woman who lurks in the shadows, coming to the rescue of those in need. Into Harmony’s orbit steps a psychologist played by Jacqueline McKenzie, her son Mason (Jerome Myer) and bad seed Jimmy (Eamon Farren), spiralling the story towards a high stakes climax.

The all Australian cast employs American accents, which could be construed as distracting, but this type of fantastical, spiritual material is only ever pulled off convincingly by the US, so it makes sense, despite wavering interpretations. There are large leaps of logic, too, with certain narrative questions left unanswered – perhaps that was planned for Part 2?

If you go with it, Harmony rewards you with an emotionally complex, fulfilling ride. It’s so refreshing to watch something truly original for a change, human made, with all the foibles that entails, at a time when CGI and dumbing down is de rigueur. The three young leads – Falkholt is all The Craft type smoulder, Myer is a humourless, angst-ridden Buster Keaton while Farren channels OTT Willem Dafoe in Streets of Fire. All are exceptional in their commitment to challenging roles that skate such a thin line between gritty reality and caricature.

This is the second film that Writer/Director Corey Pearson has had released this year, with Message Man a brutal action flick that deserved to find an audience, and now he takes on the well-worn YA genre with this highly ambitious emo fable that if released a decade ago would have been picked up by a Hollywood studio a la Gabriel. Its high production qualities, moody score by Tai Rotem and committed performances would be embraced by the streaming generation, and perhaps down the track that is exactly what will happen. But to release in cinemas these days, you really need strong IP to get any sort of traction, and it is going to be another tough slog for Corey Pearson to find an audience in the first instance, even though it is clear that he is a filmmaker well aware of who he is making this film for.

Let Harmony wash over you; it will touch and reward you.


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