The Nothing Men

DRAMA; 1hr 24min

STARRING: David Field, Colin Friels, Martin Dingle-Wall

Your move: from left, Dingle-Wall and Field

While waiting out a final two weeks for their redundancy pay, a group of Australian factory workers become paranoid about a mild-mannered new man they believe to be a company spy (Field as David). Their fear is that the slightest reported transgression could see any of them sacked and deprived of their money. They are also bored silly and crawling all over each other’s nerves, which translates into goading, spatting and expletive-strewn outbursts from a gnarly Friels as former foreman Jack. Only intuitive Wesley (Dingle-Wall) believes that David is on the level, but Wesley has his own pressing secrets.


As a theatrical ensemble piece, the tension and hairpin turns of writer-director Mark Fitzpatrick’s screenplay are designed to be powered by bare-knuckled performances. I wasn’t wholly sold on the crass blokey interplay, nor on the sky-high drama, which skews into too much. But as David and Wesley, rank outsiders in the relationship stakes, Field and Dingle-Wall are a deep-etched definition of ambiguity.