In many ways 'Cut Snake' is a wasted opportunity: it could have been a worthy social drama about how young men sent to prison cope with their prison history when they're out. Critical acclaim and award ceremonies would have followed. Instead, it's packed with macho violence, swearing and drag queens. So fewer filmsnob points, but probably more box office success.
It's Australia (in the 1970s, judging from the outfits). Ex-con 'Sparra' (the personable Alex Russell) is going straight and working in a broom factory when an old mucker from prison, 'Pommie' (Sullivan Stapleton) turns up. Pommie quickly inveigles his way into the home of Sparra and fiancée Paula, despite the former's reluctance - it is clear there is some prison-based connection between the pair, a connection Pommie is determined will continue. Meanwhile, his violent tendencies come to the fore.
Although it is fairly obvious early on what the connection is between Pommie and Sparra, this isn't explicitly stated until late in the film - meaning the viewer cannot be sure s/he fully understands Pommie and Sparra's motivations. But other aspects of the story rattle along at a fair old pace. As for the acting, Russell does well enough in portraying Sparra's confusion, but Stapleton seems so intent on channeling every one-note psycho who has ever featured on screen that by the time his big emotional scene rolls around it is hard to take him seriously. Still, caught as it is between the two genres of social drama and action thriller, 'Cut Snake' is an entertaining film and I would be happy to watch it again.
Set in Melbourne in the mid-1970s, Cut Snake tells the story of Sparra Farrell (Alex Russell), an ex-convict who is trying to make a new life for himself in a new city. He has found honest work and even becomes engaged but the prospect of this new life is challenged when his foreboding and charismatic cell mate Pommie (Sullivan Stapleton) tracks him down upon his own release. Sparra finds himself enigmatically drawn back toward a world and a man that he was certain he had wanted to leave behind.
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October 08, 2016 at 03:47 PM