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:: Blurred

Debut feature filmmaker Evan Clarry gives us a story about the annual pilgrimage of school leavers heading to the Gold Coast in Queensland for Schoolies’ Week. It’s been a long-held tradition where sex, alcohol, and wrecked apartments are part of the experience. This film gives an account of the kids that leave the schoolyard and aiming to taste life as a young adult immediately.

Certain groups of students head off and encounter interesting adventures on the way. The director cleverly shies away from the obvious stories of what occurs on the Gold Coast and, instead, traces the teenagers’ expectations and thoughts as they travel.

It is interesting to follow the sets of characters. They are of different backgrounds and a fine young ensemble cast performs well in capturing the energy of this coming-of-age story. “Blurred” is probably the only film to really take on the unique Schoolies’ Week scenario. It is an entertaining road movie, full of fun and frivolity. Lives change forever as the adventures see young people with blurred vision, pursuing their dream as if there is no tomorrow. The trips, by bus, train, car, and limousine, do not go according to plan. The story has plenty of amusing moments, yet is laced with a few dramatic scenes that shows the underlying spirit of the film.

The acting is well captured by vibrant camera work – indicating the touching scenes and the slapstick
scenes. There is some fine emerging talent amongst the cast. Matthew Newton is already known to many. He is cast as a seedy limousine driver, while other actors to note are Jessica Gower, as the attractive teenager worried about her love life. Craig Horner, Veronica Sywak, Petra Yared, and Charlotte Rees also perform admirably, the latter two being successful in playing the drunken limousine passengers. The soundtrack captures the mood at the right times also - it's funky and energetic.

“Blurred” is a very good portrayal of the unique Australian youthful exuberance that is encapsulated by the Schoolies’ Week tradition. Despite some shallow parts in the script, the film is refreshing, with many laughs and appropriate sombre moments, and it has more truth and honesty than several other teen films I’ve seen, a brave but skilful effort by the filmmakers. “Blurred” should appeal to many Australians as a satisfactory contribution to the teen film brand.

Screening on general release