The Stranger (Netflix 2022) Film Review: True Crime LFF Review

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The Stranger: A Gripping True Crime Drama and Character Study

An Unexpected Journey Begins

In Thomas M. Wright’s film, “The Stranger,” we are transported into a distressing true crime drama that draws inspiration from actual events. It also offers us a captivating and irresistible character study. The film opens with a sense of perplexity, leaving us perplexed as we try to decipher what is unfolding before our eyes. Two strangers, Henry (Sean Harris) and Paul (Steve Mouzakis), meet on a train at night, embarking on a journey that continues by car. It becomes apparent that one is assisting the other in reaching his destination. However, their encounter takes an unexpected turn when a third individual, Mark (Joel Edgerton), enters the scene, and we slowly unravel the truth that Henry and Mark are collaborators in some illicit activities. The nature of their work remains ambiguous, but it becomes clear that Henry must prove his loyalty to his new boss, John (Alan Dukes), by carrying out certain assignments. As the narrative progresses, we delve deeper into Mark’s past and witness a genuine bond forming between him and Henry, both grappling with their own personal challenges.

A Larger Picture Unveiled

As the film unfolds, we become aware of a more significant backdrop unfolding. One of Australia’s most extensive police operations is taking place, with our characters under constant scrutiny and manipulation. The police are actively seeking evidence to prosecute their primary suspect. While this unfolds, our focus remains on Mark and Henry, unraveling their complexities as the story progresses. Writer-director Thomas M. Wright expertly reveals pieces of the puzzle at precisely the right moments, ensuring our engagement throughout the film. The unconventional structure of “The Stranger” keeps us captivated, drawing us further into its universe until we are fully immersed, unable to divert our gaze from the screen. Sean Harris and Joel Edgerton deliver exceptional performances, infusing their characters with humanity and compelling us to empathize with them, regardless of the truths we uncover. The film concludes with a bittersweet victory that leaves us deeply affected, mourning the loss of a friend rather than celebrating a triumph.

Unpacking the Layers: The Intricacies of “The Stranger”

A Narrative Rooted in True Events

“The Stranger” takes inspiration from the tragic real-life abduction and murder of a 13-year-old in Queensland in 2003. This foundation adds a layer of complexity to the film as it examines the toll that undercover operations exact on those involved. The characters in “The Stranger” find themselves constantly assuming false identities, blurring the line between good and evil. The narrative delves into the psychological consequences of living in this duality, where pretending to be someone else eventually transforms individuals into the very personas they portray. The boundaries between right and wrong become increasingly blurred, amplifying the intensity of the story.

A Tense and Absorbing Drama

“The Stranger” masterfully balances elements of a true crime drama while also serving as an absorbing character study. It keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, consistently surprising them with unexpected twists and revelations. The film’s slow-burning nature allows us to delve deeply into the psyches of its characters, offering glimpses of their hidden motivations and inner turmoil. While the primary focus revolves around the abduction and murder investigation, “The Stranger” also explores universal themes, such as the complexity of life and the significance of empathy and human connection. Ultimately, the film serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact loneliness can have on individuals.

The Stranger: A Must-See Film

Premiere and Global Release

“The Stranger” premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival on October 15th, 2022, garnering acclaim for its gripping storytelling and remarkable performances. Audiences worldwide eagerly anticipate its global release on Netflix, scheduled for October 19th, 2022. As the film makes its way to a broader audience, viewers can expect an enthralling experience that transcends the confines of traditional crime dramas. “The Stranger” immerses us in a world of uncertainty, where the boundaries of right and wrong blur, leaving a lasting impact that will resonate long after the credits roll.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is “The Stranger” based on a true story?

Yes, “The Stranger” draws inspiration from the real-life abduction and murder of a 13-year-old in Queensland in 2003. The film uses this tragic event as a foundation for its narrative while also exploring the toll that undercover operations can take on those involved.

2. What makes “The Stranger” stand out from other crime dramas?

“The Stranger” stands out due to its unconventional structure, slow-burning tension, and remarkable performances. The film keeps audiences engaged with unexpected twists and revelations, while also exploring into the complexities of its characters and the universal themes of empathy and human connection.

3. Who are the main actors in “The Stranger”?

The film features outstanding performances from Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, Steve Mouzakis, and Alan Dukes. Harris and Edgerton, in particular, deliver compelling portrayals of characters grappling with their past choices and personal challenges.

4. What is the significance of the relationship between Mark and Henry?

The evolving bond between Mark and Henry is central to the narrative of “The Stranger.” Despite their secrets and hidden motivations, their friendship serves as a compelling thread that drives the story forward, leaving a lasting impact on both characters and viewers.

5. When and where can I watch “The Stranger”?

“The Stranger” premiered at the 2022 BFI London Film Festival on October 15th, 2022. It will be globally released on Netflix on October 19th, 2022. Audiences worldwide can immerse themselves in this gripping true crime drama and character study from the comfort of their homes.