banner image

:: Unfinished Sky

Unfinished Sky is an Australian remake of Netherlands production The Polish Bride. The film stars William McInnes as John Woldring, a reclusive farmer who reluctantly takes in a bloodied and bruised Afghani refugee named Tahmeena (Monic Hendrickx, who also starred in the original film). She is on the run from local pub owner (Billie Brown) who forced her into prostitution. Whilst in hiding at the farmhouse, John and Tahmeena slowly break down each others defences and begin to fall in love.

This is a solid adult drama which holds quite a bit of depth for a 90 min production. Writer/director Peter Duncan’s decision to adapt the film to a rural Australian setting works very well, the tranquil scenery of the country giving itself to be captured by a good cinematographer, and it does by Robert Humphreys.

The transition of Monic Hendrickx’s Polish bride to Afghani refugee also works well, Hendrickx giving a fragile and heart felt performance in the process. The tall and rugged William McInnes is perfectly cast as the farmer who at first feels contempt and anger towards this strange woman who has intruded his isolated existence, but then slowly thaws out of his icy exterior. Henrickx and McInness establish a strong rapport regardless of hardly any dialogue spoken in the first 10 odd min, and the obvious language barrier which follows (no subtitles enhance the realistic tone).

Duncan’s social commentary about sex trafficking in Australia (which even reaches its vast rural territories) should be applauded, yet would have been much more potent if looked upon more often. The film flows rather nicely, establishing its two key characters magnificently as they draw the curiosity and sympathy of its audience. However, a switch in direction to action territory in its final act ruins the powerful and sombre tone set before hand, swapping realism for generic plot devices. A tack ending pulls the movie down further: it is not that I don’t mind conclusions of that nature. It just did not fit with the credible tone Duncan expertly established before hand.