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Dead Calm

28 Jun

John Ingram (played by Sam Neill) is happily married to Rae (by Nicole Kidman). They have recently been involved in a terrible car accident so they are sailing around the idyllic Pacific to relax and put some time and space between them and the traumatic memories at home. The voyage is like paradise, even when they are becalmed in the open sea and spend some days in isolation. Then one day another ship appears nearby – it looks to be in need of assistance so John and Rae get a bit closer to investigate.They encounter its one lone occupant, Hughie Marriner (by Billy Zane) and take him under their wing to make sure he is okay. The situation doesn’t seem quite right so while Hughie is sleeping, John boards his vessel to investigate – then discovers Hughie’s real intentions. In the meantime, he realises he has left Rae on board their own craft with the unstable and sleeping Hughie … John rushes to get back to keep Rae safe as he considers how much she’s at risk on board – then he sees his own ship steaming off into the distance without him …

This is a great movie – it is a classic, nail-biting thriller which is from the novel by Charles Williams. It is paced perfectly, builds suspense very well and compels the viewer onto the edge of their seat as the drama develops. Billy Zane is excellent as the unstable and evil Hughie, Sam Neill is rock solid as steady and plausible John and although she seems very young to be his wife, Nicole Kidman is great in this role as the desperate Rae, trying to escape from this lunatic on the high seas – she gives Rae real tenacity and energy. The Pacific is stunning and the backdrop of the wide ocean makes the isolation of this dangerous and frightening situation palpable. A really good movie.

Made in 1989. Directed by Phillip Noyce

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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Movies

 

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