It was the star names of Guy Pearce and Sam Neill that made me look twice when scrolling through Sky Movies 'Anytime' selection.
Guy has often been excellent and Sam's always a solid performer and I had hopes that this might be above your average TV 'missing persons case of the week', with some adult-orientated content and good acting.
There's a lot of surface stylised gloss that might seem superfluous, at least initially, in what is essentially a depiction of the shattering life of the outgoing, confident 15 year old Rachel (Kate Bell). She's sexy and with a boyfriend who she is obviously besotted with. Guy Pierce, is husband to Miranda Otto and are the parents to Rachel and they are the ones who raise the alarm to a unsympathetic police.
Sam Neill plays the business-man father of the emotionally troubled Caroline and he is caught between his awkwardness around and toward his daughter (an excellent Ruth Bradley) and to him, his more interesting and productive work-life.
However, the swirling and sweeping camera and heightened experience that director Simone North (who's been in TV production since the 80s, inc. The Flying Doctors) uses certainly makes the film more watchable. There's also a fair amount of fantasy and psychological sequences and cross-cutting of time zones, which does make piecing the events together a little confusing at times, but it does gel after a while.
As the film progresses, we see how these two girls interact and how their friendship might have contributed to the initial outcome. I'm going to leave the plot there - if you watch it then you'll find out more. This is not the sort of film that I would have wanted to pay to see, either at the Cinema, nor as a DVD rental. It's OK as a weekday filler feature, but to be honest, nothing much more than that. 6/10, or 3 stars.