Movie review: “Oyster Farmer”

Going to the DVD store at 7pm on a Saturday evening to look for a suitable movie is probably a bad time. The ‘good and new’ shelves were completely empty, and all the other stragglers were clustered around the ‘old and probably less good movies’.

The movie we chose, “The Sentinel” with Michael Douglas, was apparently one we had seen before, as our DVD player recognised the place we had ended the last time and started from there (i.e. the rolling credits right at the end!). So we hared it back to the store, where I hurriedly grabbed “Oyster Farmer”, which had had some interesting reviews.

Just to summarise the plot briefly: The main character in this 2004 movie, which is set on the big winding Hawkesbury River in New South Wales, is Jack Flange (yep, that’s his name), played by Alex O’Loughlin. Jack is raaaather good-looking, with nice sets of muscles in all the right places, decorated with impressive tatoos. He and his sister, who was injured during a car accident, have left Sydney and moved to this river, where oyster farmers have been living for generations. Jack finds a job with one of the oyster fishermen, the appropriately named Mumbles, and his father, who speaks with a very down-to-earth Irish accent coloured with Aussie-speak. Jack also finds love, in the form of a young maiden called Pearl (oysters – pearl, get it?). The question is whether love will win out in the end, and whether he will stay.

I must admit that the plot was rather difficult to follow, perhaps because of the jumpy editing? The movie seemed to consist of a whole lot of short clips, each a maximum of 5 mins long, with some seriously peculiar characters introduced along the way. The story line was not well fleshed-out, and it felt as though there were gaps where the ‘bridges’ between the clips should have been. Fortunately, there were indeed some really funny moments, although the humour was definitely Aussie…

We didn’t really enjoy it much, despite the fact that the cover had bragged that this was ‘The best movie to come out of Australia in years, perhaps ever.”

Richard’s comment at the end summed it up nicely: “Perhaps there weren’t any other movies to come out of Australia that year…”

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For other movies we’ve watched in March, click on:

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