The Square (2008) – A Review
I love a good film noir. That classic structure of a story about a not so innocent character formulating a seemingly simple plan and having it come wildly undone throughout the film and just pulling them deeper down in a dangerous situation. The Square does that and does it very well.
Raymond (David Roberts) and Carla (Claire van der Boom) are having an affair when a bagful of money appears in the hands of Carla’s husband Smithy (Anthony Hayes). The sack of cash teasingly offers them a way out of their marriages and the long-awaited opportunity to run off with each other.
A plan is hatched to make it happen, but of course things it’s not as easy as they think it will be. Mishaps complicate things and Raymond ends up desperately trying to keep things from escalating any further and avoiding an inevitable disaster.
I’m not going to say too much about the plot. It’s more fun not knowing too much before going in and I hate spoiling things for new viewers. Just know all the benchmarks of the classic noir film are present. Lust, greed, violence, tension, guilt, suspicion, all that good stuff.
The ordinary suburban Australian setting adds some irony to all the nefarious things going on. The performances are all very good, especially the leads. Roberts has a sad hangdog look on his face as the pressure heats up and he really conveys the panic he’s trying to hold in. It’s one of the best neo-noir films I’ve seen in awhile.