DVD Review - Cut Snake (2015)
The first time we see Stapleton it's in a cool, tiny T-shirt and very short shorts. He looks not fresh out of prison but fresh from holiday. He does have a gruff aura about him, a devilish smile. He is also a bit scruffy. It's quickly revealed that he is quite hirsute, and his hairy, muscular, upper body seems to be an object of desire for Ayres' camera.
Sullivan Stapleton stars as Jim Stewart aka Pommie, a recently-released convict. It's 1974 on the east coast of Australia. A title says the setting is Sydney, but Pommie ventures out into the rural area looking for someone. He'll do anything to find and be with this person.
Jessica De Gouw (Arrow and Dracula) also co-stars as Paula, the aforementioned girlfriend who obviously loves Sparra but she doesn't seem to know much about her new fiance. She asks Sparra about his past, but he's reluctant to tell her. She sees that he is perhaps embarrassed or ashamed.
Written by Blake Ayshford, the movie could have made this film as being highly homophobic. Sparra fears Pommie and that fear could have devolved into gay panic. Yet, it doesn't. One questions if Sparra has this fear, then why would he invite Pommie into his home. It's a mix of feelings. He senses a creeping danger, but there's a part of him that is open to Pommie. Perhaps, Sparra cares about him, but we're not sure why.
Both men give great performances, a great, emotional push-and-pull. Eventually, the two build such heat that it's almost combustible. It's perhaps not surprising that a scene results in flames consuming the frame. It's tragic because it takes a hard road for the realization that love between two people sometimes isn't enough. It's not enough to ensure two people should be together.
It might seem anti, same-sex relations because the heat between the two men is fought and resisted until it reaches a breaking point. They might not live happily ever after, but the expression of love between the two men does ring loudly than anything else.
It's also reminiscent of Son of a Gun (2015), which also utilizes fellow young Australian, Brenton Thwaites. That movie substituted an outright, homosexual love with a more paternal love. This movie doesn't have elaborate stunts. It's quieter, more subtle. It's more devastating, more heartbreaking, and Stapleton is a revelation as we feel the devastation and heartbreak right along with him.
Five Stars out of Five.
Rated R for violence, sexuality and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 34 mins.