Caleb Landry Jones (Antiviral) stars in the shocking real-life story of a lone gunman who massacred 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia in the 90s.
Landry Jones really delivers a spine-tingling performance as the disturbed Martin Byrant. Everything about it was astounding and he really makes the viewer feel uneasy and uncomfortable. From his long-absent, vacant stares into nothingness, to his manic violent outbursts. He was terrifying. It was no surprise to find out that he picked up the Best Actor award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Also, if you’re uncertain who Caleb Landry Jones is, you’d really think he’s an Aussie. His accent is great and apparently, he perfected it in a hotel room by watching reruns of Neighbours and Home & Away.
Nitram manages to make you feel uncomfortable, there’s just something very wrong with this man in every scene. As for the violence, well, there’s not much but it still hits hard. We get to see a glimpse of what his life was like in the months running up to the shooting.
From the opening scene, there’s just an uneasiness. His character is so unpredictable, completely unhinged and lost in his own demented, fragile world.
The film deals with his parents who try their hardest to control and love him but his behavioural and psychological problems are just way too severe. It also deals with his relationship with a local woman who sympathises with him and can relate to his loneliness. All these characters play a part in his psychotic break but no one could’ve ever imagined the actual atrocities that he would commit. His shocking crimes forced the Australian government to make a drastic change in its gun laws.
Another fantastic bleak Australian film with a powerhouse of a lead performance from Caleb Landry Jones. Nitram is about the man who committed these acts, and not the act itself. Even though we don’t get to witness the shooting on a full scale, the build-up and development of this very sick character, enables your imagination to fill in the gaps. Sometimes that’s scarier.
Top marks from me. As always, thanks for reading.
Review by GG