Reviews

Picnic At Hanging Rock

4

In the haze of a St Valentine's summer day in 1900, Peter Weir's faux true-life mystery traces the disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher on a day out at the titular Australian landmark.

Swaddling the story in an atmosphere of eerie mysticism, Weir shuts out logic and reason in favour of cloaking the tale in swooning mysticism. Unsettling intrigue swells against the lyrical beauty of the outback, sexual hysteria quivers behind tightly bound corsets of the Victorian academy, and confused fears begin seeping into the local community. No denying it, Weir's got a gift for conjuring these elusive tensions, but his refusal to offer any deeper exploration sure leaves an ache of frustration. All the same, the need for explanations does tend to fade away when you're breathing in this kind of haunting allure.

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