Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review Tuesday: 'South Solitary'

Today’s ‘Review Tuesday’. A few years ago, Sweetheart Vivienne and I half-heartedly considered volunteering to be lighthouse keepers on Maatsuyker Island [1, 2] for a few months. We didn’t apply – but the idea was, and is, mouth-wateringly romantic. The combination of a lighthouse, a remote small island with a rock-strewn shoreline, and wild wild weather’s nigh on irresistible. Not uncoincidentally, the same elements compellingly dominate the 2010 Australian film South Solitary [3, 4]. The year’s 1927 and Meredith, a 35-year-old spinster (played by Mirando Otto [5]) arrives on the island of South Solitary with her uncle (played by Miranda’s father, Barry Otto [6]) who’s the new lighthouse keeper. Under Meredith’s arm’s a poddy lamb named Lucille. Their arrival brings South Solitary’s human population to eight. Via a series of incidents, it’s reduced to two: Meredith, and a taciturn WWI veteran Jack Fleet (played by Marton Csokas [7]). Violent weather forces Meredith and Mr Fleet to rely on each other, and a bond forms between them. The film ends with Meredith leaving South Solitary – with Lucille who’s metaphorically matured into a prime lamb. And there’s a hint Meredith’s relationship with Mr Fleet, then buddingly romantic, will blossom in future. As a would-be-but-never-will-be lighthouse keeper I love this film. I give it four stars. Despite wonderful writing (by writer director Shirley Barrett [8]), convincing acting and evocative music, the movie’s stars are the lighthouse and the island. Of course.

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