Prime Mover. Infusing dusty Dubbo with magical realism, this is the story of Thomas, an aspiring truckie meets small town gypsy Melissa, and the love and life they make for each other. The film reunites Suburban Mayhem stars Michael Dorman and Emily Barclay, who generate a natural chemistry that sells their love at first sight. But it wouldn’t be a fairytale without some nasty antagonists: roles taken up with relish by Caesar regular Ben Mendelson and Underbelly's Gyton Grantley. Fulfilling the fairy godmother position (of sorts) is Anthony Hayes, whose four parts aid and stall Thomas’ progress in turn.
Though Caesar clearly seeks to reveal the magic in everyday life, he doesn’t quite manage to keep up the momentum from its charming first act. When Thomas hits the road, the film takes an about face, replacing the laconic comedy with a rather serious family drama, albeit one with fun bad guys. This tonal shift carries the film off course a ways, but by the third act both Thomas and his Prime Mover are heading back on track.
The narration and magical realism may well remind some of the cult classic Two Hands. This is, however, a much sweeter film that seeks to portray love and family in a meaningful way. While it may not fire on all cylinders, Prime Mover is broadly appealing, with engaging performances, fun cameos and fine cinematography that provide an interesting glimpse at the oft-overlooked Australian truckie.
Published on Concrete Playground (visit the site to win free tickets).
Australian release date: 12 November 2009