A tonally suspect if often diverting revenge western, The Flood is set in Australia in the wake of World War II. The indigenous population had gone off to fight for the country, only to return to a racist, viciously segregated homeland. This is certainly the case for Jarah, played by Alexis Lane, whose child Bina (Simone Landers) is taken from her by cartoonishly evil preacher Peter McCallum. He and his family of equally rotten apple sons are very much against any form of equality with the First World people.
When Jarah’s husband, played by Shaka Cook, returns a hero from war, he finds that his wife has been brutalized and his daughter made a servant. Vengeance takes hold as Jarah escapes from captivity and goes after the family that assaulted her. Amidst all of the shootouts and curious Tarantino-esque gunplay are dreamlike moments of beauty, flashbacks, and some gorgeous landscapes.
The script itself, however, veers from on the nose dialogue to leaps of logic that confuse. There are several uncomfortable moments of torture that do not land the way they should, a very odd moment of diarrhoea and ultimately a strange dive into redemption. Writer/director McIntyre throws all the tricks she can at the film, making some great visual flourishes but deadening the emotional impact. The Flood is a curious film with worthy intentions amidst the OTT spinning camerawork and Bad Boys gun diving – but one that never fully settles or convinces.
Dir: Victoria Wharfe McIntyre (15) (115 mins)
Out now via digital platforms
words KEIRON SELF
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