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:: Sunday

Sunday is a joint New Zealand/Australian production starring Dustin Clare and Camille Keenan who, in writing the script alongside director Michelle Joy Lloyd, have extended their off-screen relationship into a relationship on screen set in the backdrop of a broken Christchurch, New Zealand following the savage earthquake. Filming focused on as much of the undamaged areas of the city and gives the film a theme of hope and strength, with the ability to rebuild. Such is the case with expectant couple Eve (Keenan) and Charlie (Clare) that they are no longer together. After months of separation Charlie returns to visit Eve in the hope of mending the relationship. Charlie's career in the Australian Army has its drawbacks as he looks to rekindle the couple's old magic.

The setting indicates a low budget and minimalist values - rather like an elongated short film, and the story is solely built on the two lead actors and twenty-four hours of their lives.

The film is thoughtful in studying the complex nature of relationships and the sort of world we live in. Trying to restore the lost intimacy of the relationship is Charlie's purpose but the question is whether Eve is ready to fix the divide that sits between them, as she has apparently moved on to another relationship. There are little flashbacks along the way, which point at their previous life together and the scenery and moments of silence often say more than the dialogue itself.

The writing is very good, not being too obvious and resisting the need for an obvious conclusion. Because of their off-screen romance, Dustin Clare and Camille Keenan have a natural chemistry that works well with the setting the circumstances. I've admired their previous television work and their commitment to this project, in writing this story, gives the film the authenticity it requires. They can be very pleased with the outcome.

A film that could have been somewhat corny and predictable turns out to be charming and real. Lloyd's direction is effective, in being able to hold the shots when needed, giving the story the right feel in amongst the city setting. The soundtrack is poignant and tender and the two leads play their part with great conviction.

Though a little slow-moving at times, Sunday is an honest and admirable effort, and most likeable because of the people involved.

SUNDAY launches May 2 in an Australian-first multi-platform release combining a theatrical season with online streaming via Australian SVOD platform Stan, DVD, and via VOD platforms iTunes, Sony, Xbox, Google Play, Fetch TV, Vimeo on Demand, Reelhouse & Dendy Direct.