This review is from: Out Of The Blue  [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Some towns make history for the right reasons and other towns make history for all the wrong reasons. Aramoana in New Zealand sadly falls into the latter category. A gunman went on a rampage which took the lives of 13 people before he was killed by Police. This tragedy took place in 1990 and a film of the events faced a difficult task. Could such a film be done in a way that was respectful to the victims?
The answer with Out of the Blue is a resounding yes. In the first part of the film we are briefly introduced to various people inhabiting the town as well as a couple of the Police officers. Whilst these moments are fairly brief they've been carefully handled and it's easy to pick up on what kind of people these were. We also follow the gun man and there are some well place scenes indicating the deterioration of his mental well being and his increasing paranoia.
When the violence does come, there is no glorification of it over the course of the shooting. It feels genuine and it becomes very easy to imagine yourself being present at that awful time.
There is a moment when an officer is comforting a child in the back of a truck. One of the shots really makes it apparent just how exposed he was, and it made me squirm in my seat, I expected a shot to ring out at any moment. For me it really emphasised the bravery of the officer who risked his life, so important was it to him to provide comfort to the child.
Out of the Blue does a difficult thing. It places us in a town where a horrendous act is taking place and makes us feel a tiny part of the tension and helplessness the townsfolk must have felt and showing us the acts of heroism undertaken by ordinary people. It's never gratuitous and handles it's subject matter with respect, whilst at the same time being quite a disturbing and realistic portrayal of an ordinary day that became extraordinary for the worst reasons...