About The Film
Director: Matthew Saville
Writer: Joel Edgerton (what?!)
Starring: Joel Edgerton (woohoo), Jai Courtney, Tom Wilkinson, Melissa George
Run Time: 107 minutes
What Other Reviewers Said About It
“Felony covers familiar ground but does so with uncommon style, thanks to a thought provoking script, sharp direction and powerful work from a talented cast.”
What I Say About It
It’s a sad indictment of modern audiences that a film like Felony can barely scrape together a half million AUD total gross and can’t even achieve an international release. Nothing goes boom, no one gets kicked, there’s no superheroes or badly written scenes of sadomasochism featuring wealthy businessmen. However it is one of the most interesting and engrossing films I have seen of late. Felony is a gritty, realistic, psychological cop thriller which is both impeccably written and masterfully acted. This results in an end product which, while flawed is impressive in its nuanced approach, weighty drama and musings on morality.
Malcolm (Edgerton) is essentially a good guy. At the pub celebrating a recent drug bust; VB is free flowing and all the coppers get a little tiddly before driving home, which is of course the catalyst for the entire film’s central conflict. These characters are instantly believable and I found myself caring about Malcolm due in part to Joel Edgerton’s convincing and powerful portrayal of a conflicted soul as well as the excellent scripting and realist tone of the film.
Because of this when Malcolm clips a small child on a bike on his drunken drive home
I freaked out; I felt his anxiety; his panic as I was drawn into his moral dilemma and started shoving popcorn into my face out of nervousness, hands shaking in anticipation.
When the child remains unconscious he calls an ambulance and veteran cop Carl Summers (Wilkinson) urges the dazed and intoxicated Malcolm to lie to save his skin. Naïve rookie cop Jim Melic (Courtney) watches all of this take place and is instantly suspicious of Summers and Malcolm thus creating a dilemma where there three cops play off each other each trying to do what they perceive as the “right thing”.
I really enjoyed how this film kept itself grounded in reality and kept situations messy allowing itself to pose serious questions about morality without resorting to melodrama or over the top action. The final act strays from this formula; getting a little Hollywood and tying things up a little too neatly for my liking, but it’s still an emotionally affecting and satisfying conclusion.
Overall this film is outstanding, a throwback to the days when thrilling narrative and interesting characters were king, rather than exploding robots and comic book tie ins. Hats off to Joel Edgerton for this one I’ll be sure to watch whatever he puts out next and encourage you guys to do the same.
10 Words Or Less
Suspenseful, masterfully written, Aussie cop morality play featuring moving performances.
A full “Squealer” of Good Georges’ IPA is necessary to calm your nerves as the moral tension of Felony weighs on your mind. You’ll be fidgeting uncomfortably as the thrilling scenes play out and 946ml of this well balanced and delicious IPA will disappear within the first hour. Both beer and film are examples of the little guys doing it right, and nailing a “no nonsense” approach to their craft. By the end of these works of art you’ll have been on a tasty, tumultuous emotional rollercoaster which you won’t regret.