Ten years after the collapse of the Western economic system, Australia’s mineral resources have drawn the desperate and dangerous to its shores. With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. A man who refuses to give his name (Guy Pearce) is a cold and angry drifter who has left everything and everyone behind. When his car – his last possession – is stolen by a gang of desperate desert hustlers, he embarks on a ruthless mission to track them down. Along the way, he is forced into an unlikely relationship with Rey (Robert Pattinson), the naïve and injured younger brother of gang member Henry (Scoot McNairy), who has left Rey behind in the bloody aftermath of the gang’s most recent robbery.
Shot in the Flinders Ranges, The Rover is a cinematographic UFO, where a car chase becomes a road trip trough the burning landscapes of Australia. The characters are all alone, even when they’re together. Everybody seems to have come from all around the world to end their lives in this small corner of nowhere. In the last kingdom of men, they all behave like scared animals; they favour their dogs over their neighbours.
The strength of this movie is its setting in a near-apocalyptic future yet not so far from what our actual world is becoming. The movie is very minimalist, and so is the language, which leads to amazing performances, especially from Pearce and Pattinson. They’re strong, fragile, sad and angry at the same time. The tension between them is there all along, yet they manage to create a beautiful relationship from their two broken souls.
From the score to the cinematography, from the lights to the framing, from the script to the choice of the cast, everything hails Michôd’s work as a great achievement.
The Rover is released nationwide on 15th August 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Rover here: