Review: The Square DVD

STUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Nash Edgerton | CAST: David Roberts, Claire Van Der Boom, Joel Edgerton, Anthony Hayes
RELEASE DATE: 8/24/2010 | PRICE: DVD $24.96, Blu-ray $30.95
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, visual effects scene deconstructions, short film Spider
SPECS: R | 105 min. | Thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS Surround Sound | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

A knockout modern-day film noir movie from Australia, Sony‘s The Square manages to salute such classic thrillers as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice and, more recently, Body Heat, while remaining its own original animal.

An impressive directorial debut from former stuntman Nash Edgerton, The Square focuses on an illicit affair between unhappily married contractor Ray (David Roberts) and younger neighbor Carla (Claire Van Der Boom), whose criminal husband has recently acquired a sack of cash. Ray and Carla plan to swipe the loot, set Carla’s house on fire with the help of an arsonist (co-writer Joel Edgerton) and live happily ever after in a different country. True to the classic nature of noir, not everything goes as planned, and the screws tighten on protagonist Ray and his scheme.

Wonderfully acted by all and extremely well-directed (Edgerton shows an impressive command of widescreen in his first feature), The Square remains riveting and filled with surprises. The Aussie accents and suburban Sydney settings add a novelty to the movie, as does the supporting cast of creepy characters.

Perhaps a less generic title and more intimate scenes between Roberts and the striking Van Der Boom would have helped heighten interest even more, but those are minor quibbles in a film so masterfully conceived and executed.

Included on the DVD is Edgerton’s jarring 2007 short film Spider.

 

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.