Film Review – Watch the Sunset (2017)

Title – Watch the Sunset (2017)

Directors – Tristan Barr (This Little Piggy) & Michael Gosden (feature debut)

Cast – Tristan Barr, Annabelle Williamson, Chelsea Zeller, Michael Gosden, Aaron Walton

Plot – Set over the course of a single afternoon in a single take, ex-bikie and drug addict Danny (Barr) gets caught up in a life threatening situation when his old biker gang kidnap his young daughter Joey (Williamson).

“One day. One life. One chance”

Review by Eddie on 08/08/2019

Hailed as Australia’s very first one-shot feature film, Watch the Sunset is an impressive example of boundary pushing independent filmmaking that heralds in some noteworthy talent in the form of co-directors and co-stars Tristan Barr and Michael Gosden and the films true MVP, cinematographer Damian Lipp.

Shot in the picturesque rural country town of Kerang, Sunset follows Barr’s drug-addled bikie gang member Danny Biaro across a fateful 80 or so minutes as the tormented soul finds his breaking free of the ties to his gang The Bloodless Brothers anything but smooth sailing as his young daughter and on and off again partner are drawn into a dangerous game of life or death as Biaro must confront those he once saw as family.

There’s nothing overly new or ground-breaking in this tale of a criminal seeking redemption and family connection after years of neglect and bad decisions but Barr and Gosden’s ability to craft this narrative in a singular take ensures Sunset is never anything but captivating and while it’s hard to form too much of a strong bond on a human level to those that come and go in the single take offering, Sunset grips the viewer from the opening 10 minutes and won’t let you go until its impressively staged finale.

What makes this feat even more incredible is the fact these filmmakers constructed such a polished offering outside of big-studio and big budget backing and from everything from the performances that are led impressively by Barr in the lead role, the moody score by Richard Labrooy, through to the realism drenched and hard hitting dialogue, Sunset feels like a film made by a team of highly skilled and dedicated filmmakers that will surely be mainstays of local and overseas cinema in the years yet to come.

There’s a care and professionalism that seeps out of every pore of the film, while at times its grimy, grungy and grainy, this is perfectly suited to a tale that deals with hard hitting issues, unafraid to showcase the pitfalls and problems that follow drug addicts around like a black dog, many unable to escape from its constant stalking and preying despite their best efforts.

While it doesn’t make for mainstream feel-good entertainment, Sunset is the type of Australian production that is far too rare in today’s current marketplace and for fans of local cinema and for those overseas cinephiles that are seeking quality foreign content, Sunset is a prime example of what can be achieved from our home grown talent and skill sets.

Final Say –

Both an impressive feat of filmmaking workmanship and hard hitting story-telling, Watch the Sunset is a stunning example of Australian film and a truly exciting calling card for all involved.

4 church choirs out of 5

Watch the Sunset is showing in select cinemas across the country in August and will be available to rent/purchase from AUGUST 31 on STAN, iTunes, google play, FETCH TV, SONY PSN, Vimeo on demand. 

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