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Jindabyne is a gripping film released in 2006 under the deft directorship of Ray Lawrence. This Australian drama boasts a well-rounded cast that includes the talents of Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, and John Howard. The film takes its name from the small town of Jindabyne in New South Wales, where its story unfolds.

This narrative is an adapted screenplay based on Raymond Carver's short story 'So Much Water So Close to Home'. In a merger of suspenseful thriller and domestic drama, Jindabyne deals with thought-provoking themes of morality, forgiveness, community tensions and cultural divisions, everything set against the backdrop of idyllic Australian nature and tranquil life.

At the center of the compelling narrative is a married couple, Claire and Stewart, played with resonant depth by Linney and Byrne. Stewart, a former race car driver now running a service station, is a pragmatic man. He and his friends from the small town of Jindabyne take an eagerly anticipated annual fishing trip into the mountains. But, this year's retreat takes an unsettling turn when they discover the body of an indigenous girl in the river.

This discovery tests the men's morality and disrupts their weekend plans. The choice they made of continuing their fishing trip before reporting the body to the authorities sets off a chain of events and reactions in their close-knit town, spotlighting the undercurrent of tension between the indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

Simultaneously, the film delves into the emotional struggles of Claire, a complex character portrayed masterfully by Linney. Claire, who has her history of depression stemming from previous loss, is a warm, compassionate woman wrestling with her feelings of alienation in the small town and her differing perspective on the incident. Much of the movie plays out through her perspective, changing from a community drama to an intimate study of personal dealing with trauma and bewilderment.

John Howard, another key character in the film, plays Carl, one of Stewart's friends, who displays a different spectrum of morality, rooted in his approach to life and loyalty towards his friend. Each character in Jindabyne has been meticulously shaped to reveal the multiplicity of human nature.

Jindabyne uses the quiet and vast landscapes of Australia to further its narrative. Cinematographer David Williamson exploits the serene mountains, the open plains, and the quiet stillness of the river meant for fishing to create atmosphere and capture contentious themes subtly. The beauty of the landscapes with their silent starkness speaks volumes about the themes the director is exploring. The nature here serves as a mirror reflecting the characters and their dilemmas.

As the story unfolds, it brings under scrutiny the daily rhythms and realities of small-town life. It challenges and explores how people react to extraordinary events that disrupt their routine life and how their moral fabric gets tested, revealing the potential for community divisions and personal growth alike. For its deeper drama, Jindabyne relies heavily on Carver's original story but beautifully adapts it to the Australian setting, enhancing it with a layer of racial tension that amplifies the moral questions raised.

The film has a methodical pacing, taking time to explore the characters and their emotional journeys rather than hurrying its narrative, matching the placid life of the small town it represents. Hence it may not appeal to viewers looking for traditional fast-paced thrillers. However, it is bound to satisfy viewers who appreciate movies with depth, sentiment, and complex characters interpreted by strong performances.

Though the plot spins around a dark and unsettling incident, the film dives deep into the lives of its characters, leaving room for redemption, hope, and growth. Jindabyne employs a much-needed sensitivity when dealing with themes of racial division, presenting the pangs of guilt, misunderstandings, and pre-conceived notions that often plague societies.

This film is a gracefully composed exploration of moral and social complexities. Ray Lawrence, with an unflinching narrative and compelling performances from his lead actors, delivers a cinematic experience that is both disturbing and illuminating. Jindabyne is a hypnotic blend of Clare's struggle, a community's reaction to an unexpected event, and a commentary on human nature captured amidst the haunting beauty of the Australian landscape.

Jindabyne is a Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller movie released in 2006. It has a runtime of 123 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 65.

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Where can I stream Jindabyne movie online? Jindabyne is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Jindabyne for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Ray Lawrence
Gabriel Byrne, Laura Linney, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard
Also directed by Ray Lawrence
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