By Jack Dignan
The Sydney Film Festival may be over, but plenty of my reviews are still on the way. Goldstone is the follow up to the Australian crime drama Mystery Road, and it follows the story of an Indigenous detective, Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen), who travels to the small town of Goldstone to investigate a missing persons case. His case leads him to encountering a local cop named Josh (Alex Russell), and the two don't necessarily get along. But, with both involved in the case, they must put their differences aside in order to find those responsible for whatever it is that's really going down.
Mystery Road is a film I've been meaning to check out for quite some time, and because I'm yet to see it, I went into Goldstone not realising it was a sequel. Yes, I'm sorry, but, thankfully, Goldstone works rather well as a standalone film, too. There are certain character details and backstories that I'm sure were parts of the first film, but everything else is a brand new, gripping and unpredictable story that allowed new viewers like myself to instantly be brought into this world without much confusion. It's a simple story, but also an excellent display of filmmaking, director Ivan Sen showcasing a grounded and rundown side of Australia with some dark secrets well hidden.
Full of famous Aussie talent, Goldstone is not only a display of great filmmaking, but also great performances. While everyone talks super slowly and not all of the characters had me invested in what they were doing, this didn't take away from the quality of performances given, especially from the two leads, Russell and Pedersen. The story itself can be a tad uneventful and slow, and everything is painfully quiet, but it's another solid piece of Australian cinema that's definitely worth checking out, and has got me motivated to finally see Mystery Road as well.