Australian short chiller Pink does a splendid job of providing viewers with a thought-provoking, well-told, and wonderfully acted tale that leaves much open to interpretation, in the best sense of the term. This is certainly no easy feat, but writer/director Lynne Vincent McCarthy handles the task splendidly.
A young man named Leon (Brendan Donoghue) wakes up and obviously has something on his mind. He goes outside where some kids are playing cricket on the street and becomes the target of a well-aimed ball. A young girl in a pink party dress (Olive Fitzgerald) consoles him with the fact that it’s not him they’re picking on; the kids do the same thing to many passersby. She then follows Leon on his walk from their neighborhood, which has seen better days, to a wooded area near a river. He makes it clear that he isn’t interested in her company but she continues to tag along anyway. Soon something tragic happens . . . or does it? Viewers are left to interpret whether the event actually occurred, and if so whether it keeps reoccurring, or whether it is a dark bit of imagination on Leon’s part.
Leon is a haunted man, whether he is doing it himself or whether it is brought on by supernatural forces. I’ve already given away more than I would like to here, so I’ll avoid going any closer to spoiler territory. Pink is the sort of film that needs to be experienced with as little foreknowledge as possible.
Lynne Vincent McCarthy fabulously blends the harsh realities of life in an industrial area with a dreamlike quality that she gives to the characters’ wandering through the river area. She also does a fine job of presenting what might be either memories or hallucinations without tipping her hand too much either way.
Brendan Donoghue gives a riveting performance as Leon, a socially awkward man who seems troubled. Donoghue brings Leon to life with a tight-lipped visage and eyes that seem to go between thinking too deeply or wandering into the distance. Olive Fitzgerald makes an impressive screen debut as the little girl who just won’t leave him alone, no matter what happens.
Pink is a dark drama that stayed with me long after my first viewing. I find it just as intriguing on repeat viewings and I’m still enjoying trying to unravel its mysteries.
Pink screened at the Scream Queen Filmfest Tokyo tour event in Nagoya, Japan, in February 2016.
Pink: (4 / 5)