THE ROVER Blu-ray Review
The Rover is an unpredictable story of a man set within a post-apocalyptic world created in part by writer and director David Michôd. As the story unravels audiences discover that the iceberg effect is in full force with this film, and that most of the details lay artfully below the surface.
WARNING: This Review Contains Minor Spoilers
Guy Pearce plays Eric, a hardened loner, living after the collapse of the global economy. It is evident fairly quickly that this is a time when personal safety is a constant concern and possessions have become generally expendable.
The film starts just prior to the theft of his car, which is by all accounts an average looking sedan. When Eric’s car is stolen, he makes it his sole mission to retrieve it and punish the parties responsible. Usually we see this kind of motivation attached to a character who has lost a love one, either temporarily or permanently, so immediately there’s a sense that this car contains something of sentimental value.
The protagonist, if you can even call him that with his staggering lack of morals, goes on a journey to recover his stolen property. Along the way he happens upon the wounded brother of one of the carjackers, played by a roughed up Robert Pattinson. The two form an uneasy relationship as they travel across the Australian outback chasing his stolen car.
It’s no secret that there is a stigma surrounding Pattinson from his work on the Twilight films (of which I happen to be a huge fan of), but this role is about as different from that as you can get. Anyone who walked into this expecting otherwise, probably isn’t the intended audience.
At its core, The Rover is this really tragic account of a man who is simply attempting to bury his dog. It’s the big kicker at the end of the story that makes the narrative seem even more illusory. In a dystopian society where men eat dogs to survive under the harsh economical conditions, one man has no boundaries when it comes to making sure his receives a proper burial. The lengths that he goes through result in the deaths of at least a dozen characters, both minor and major. His journey sets off a domino effect that exemplifies the nature of that reality.
The Rover is an intense piece of filmmaking that transcends the typical Blockbuster experience, and takes you to a place where quality of life has been replaced by basic survival, authority is almost non-existent, and men (and women) take justice into their own hands at will.
Most of the scenes in this film portray the setting in a bleak and minimalistic fashion. The colors are often muted, even the rich tones of the stunning backdrop, and although I would have rather seen them in their full glory, the scenery becomes its own character in the narrative and is both appropriate and understated.
The Blu-ray version of The Rover is presented in 1080p high definition audio. Even though this is the standard, there were several scenes where the background music overshadowed the dialogue.
There is only one special feature offered on this disc:
- “Something Elemental: making The Rover” Featurette
The sole extra on the disc is an incredibly thorough short-length documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes and offers them commentary from the actors and production team. It’s very insightful, my only aversion to it, is that it was obviously shot on location and while the actors are talking, they are constantly swatting bugs away. It detracts from what they are attempting to convey.
You can add The Rover to your Blu-ray collection now.