DRAMA; 1hr 45min
STARRING: David Roberts, Claire van der Boom
Intrigue is inches thick in extra-twisty Australian thriller The Square. Ray (Roberts) and Carla (van der Boom) are having an affair. They are both in dodgy shape — he is a middle-aged, married construction-site manager on the take at work and she is a 24-year-old malcontent who has stolen wads of hidden cash from her roughneck husband (Anthony Hayes). Their plan is to nick off together, and that’s just the beginning as schemes snarl into disarray and the damage bill escalates.
Co-written with Matthew Dabney by brothers Nash and Joel Edgerton (Nash directs; Joel features as a weaselly arsonist), the screenplay is quasi-Shakespearean in its tragic human folly and completely Australian in its chops-and-spuds character. Set in waterfront suburbia, its mass of undercurrents is at once mundane and claustrophobic. As Ray, a lethal cocktail of repressed and desperate, Roberts is compellingly pitiful. He is not necessarily a man to warm to, but nor can he be discounted: in his escalating panic and the doomed greed of his dreams, Ray is all too human.