Wish you were here
- Released: Thursday, 19 April 2012
- Runtime: 89 mins.
- Distributor: Hopscotch Films.
If you decided to go to see this drama because of the title, the trailer and the suggestion that this is a tale about four people living the high tourist’s life in Cambodia with something sinister happening, you would be only partly right. Most of the action takes place in Sydney and is the story of an ordinary family whose lives are disrupted by the events in Cambodia.
The early scenes of the film show Western tourists enjoying the high life in Cambodian resorts, not without indulging in alcohol and drugs. Dave (Joel Edgerton) is seen wandering the fields, bewildered. Then he and his wife, Alice (Felicity Price) are back home with their two children in their home which overlooks the cliffs and beaches of Sydney. They have two children and Alice is pregnant. Here sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer) then arrives back after trying to find her boyfriend, Jeremy (Anthony Starr) who has disappeared. They have gone to the authorities without result.
As the film unfolds, we see Dave having panic attacks, confessing an infidelity to his wife, trying to cope with her emotional reaction, ttrying to deal with Steph. The flashbacks to what actually happened in Cambodia, Dave’s erratic behaviour, the ugliness of his being exploited by local gangsters and Jeremy’s intervention, are gradually revealed. Alice has her own moment of erratic behaviour as she drives away after confronting her sister.
Moments of truth come for both Dave and Alice. For him, going to the authorities and telling the truth. For her, the birth of her baby and whether she can forgive Dave. By the end, we are quite a way from the beaches and the dives of Cambodia and firmly settled in suburban Sydney.
Audiences will be able to identify with Dave and Alice, if not in the holiday, very much in the troubles in a marriage and how they might be resolved. The screenplay was written by the director, Kieran Darcy-Smith, in collaboration with his wife, Felicity Price, who plays Alice.