TL;DR – It is a film trying to explore some essential issues. However, it felt like we only got a surface-level analysis.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Stan service that viewed this film.
Transfusion Review –
It is one of modern society’s great tragedies, actually no, not a tragedy, embarrassments, that we send people off to war and wars with dubious pretensions, and then we ignore them when they return home. We give lip service to trying to do something about it, but the damage remains. Today’s film shines a light on that trauma and how it can have generational effects.
So to set the scene, an Australian special forces team in The Middle East infiltrates a secured compound at night. The mission was a success until a surprise combatant sneaks up on the team, and Ryan Logan (Sam Worthington) is shot protecting his team. Back home, Ryan must adjust back to life with his wife Justine (Phoebe Tonkin) and son Billy (Gilbert Bradman), but where the trauma of the past still lingers. But when tragedy strikes, the bond between a father and a son is stretched to breaking point.
There has been a common complaint that Sam Worthington’s performances are always a little flat. Well, I am glad to say that this time, we see a lot more range as he runs through the gamut of emotions. From someone barely holding it together to complete rage to fundamental grief to cool calm before the coming storm. It is his story that we chart, so his performance needed to land, and I would say, for the most part, it did. This is supported by generally strong performances from the rest of the supporting cast.
The general narrative is also quite compelling. A man forces to the edge of society because the job he was trained to do does not overlap with civilian society. He is trying to process his own trauma while looking after his son Billy (Edward Carmody), who is processing their own trauma and then the conflict that stems from those forces interacting with each other. In a world where he is trampled on by the very people, he gave up his life serving. It is a tragedy you can see coming, and it hurts to see.
When the film focuses on this collapse of opportunity and what that means for Ryan and his relationship with his son Billy it moves from strength to strength. It loses some of its strength when Ryan gets wound up with his former boss, Johnny (Matt Nable), which is frustrating. Also, I know this is probably a personal thing, but I am not sure the musical score of the pensive piano helped here. Finally, it felt like the film was dabbling in notions of masculinity and what it means, and I wish they had explored that with a bit more conviction.
In the end, do we recommend Transfusion? Well? Look, a lot is going on here, and they are trying to explore essential points. However, it felt like we only got a surface-level analysis, and it really needed to delve deeper. If you liked Transfusion, I would recommend to you Da 5 Bloods.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Transfusion
Directed by – Matt Nable
Written by – Matt Nable
Music by – Luke Altmann
Cinematography by – Shelley Farthing-Dawe
Edited by – Jonathan Tappin
Production/Distribution Companies – Altitude Media Group, Deeper Water, Madman Entertainment & Stan.
Starring –Sam Worthington, Phoebe Tonkin, Matt Nable, Edward Carmody, Susie Porter, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Sam Parsonson, Sam Cotton, George Houvardas, Damien Strouthos, , Brad McMurray, Julian Maroun, Alex Malone, Trystan Go, Alison McGirr, Darius Williams, Mike Duncan & Gilbert Bradman
Rating – Australia: MA15+;