Watch The Sunset
Tristan Barr, Chelsea Zeller, Annabelle Williamson
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Assured, controlled and gripping in a measured, slow-burn kind of way…
You literally have to tip your metaphorical hat and bow to Watch The Sunset co-directors, Tristan Barr and Michael Gosden. Not only is this their first feature film, but it all unspools in one single take, and it’s no talky, stage-type adaptation either. This is a film with multiple locations, varied on-screen action – from fights and shootings to car chases – and a logistically complicated narrative. These young Aussies are obviously highly ambitious, and with Watch The Sunset they literally hit all of their marks in what must have been an extraordinary feat of planning and imagination.
Outlaw bikie gang member, Danny Biaro (Tristan Barr in an amazing piece of double duty work), is a man in deep, deep trouble. He’s on the run after liberating a hopeless young drug addict (Zia Zantis-Vinycomb) from some serious physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his gangland brothers. And now all that he wants to do is reunite with his difficult-to-convince ex-partner, Sally (Chelsea Zeller), and their angelic little daughter, Joey (Annabelle Williamson). But Danny’s one-time partners in crime in The Bloodless Brothers might have a thing or two to say about that…
Against the gritty, grainy but strangely poetic backdrop of the town of Kerang in Victoria, Watch The Sunset slowly picks up speed and eventually starts to move like a freight train. And as a wholly pleasant surprise, the potentially risky (and showy) single-take concept only hurts very infrequently, with some static, not-much-happens moments in the opening, and a slight shakiness in a few of the performances. These, however, are very minor quibbles. Assured, controlled and gripping in a measured, slow-burn kind of way, Watch The Sunset lopes from one dangerous, compelling moment to the next for the entirety of its brief duration, and wields significant enough emotion and power to make it much more than just a cinematic experiment or exercise in snide trickery. Watch The Sunset is one for the heart and mind.