Available to rent on Home Entertainment Platforms
From 15 September 2021 (Rated MA 18+)
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
A well-produced and highly thought-provoking Australian movie with a relevant but disturbing topic.
Quite a mixed start with a couple filming themselves having sex, then switching to a tame scene of kids playing together at home. Suddenly we move forward six weeks with Emily & Danny Bowman (Matilda Ridgway & Mark Leonard Winter) relaxing in their pool. They seem concerned about their 4 year-old daughter, Natasha, who has gone out with her grandmother which seems innocent enough. They are startled by the arrival of their close friends, politician Joel (Tom Wren) and Bek Chalmer (Geraldine Hakewill).
We soon learn the true story – that Natasha has accused the Chalmer’s 9 year-old son Ben of sexual assault. Bek states that she confronted her son and he denied it, and that “Ben never lies” so Natasha made the whole thing up! Emily also said Natasha doesn’t lie and how could a 4 year-old make up such graphic details. With an election coming up, the Chalmers want their son’s name removed from the Bowman’s statement. The Chalmers stand firm and really only want the latter to acknowledge that it happened and seek psychological assessment of Ben.
I won’t give too much away, but the tension and animosity escalates with accusations that Natasha must have seen her parents doing something or saw some porn on their computer – to which the Bowmans said Natasha does not have access to their computer. Bek claims the same, but it startled when Emily says she has seen Ben using his Dad’s computer several times when visiting.
The movie keeps you thinking and asking yourself questions. How would you react if your 4 year-old daughter came to you with such an allegation against your close friends’ son? What would you do if it was your son accused of such a horrifying act? Who would you believe? Would you get psychological assessment for your child or bury your head in the sand?
This is a highly-recommended movie – especially if you have young children or, in my case, with a 4 year-old granddaughter! It certainly had me thinking about it for several days after viewing.