Wish You Were Here (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

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Falls Flat...
dandelionfields10 May 2012
Wish You Were Here is a directorial debut for actor Kieran Darcy-Smith and written by Darcy-Smith and his wife Felicity Price. The premise of the movie is promising: four Australian friends are enjoying a holiday in Cambodia, but one goes missing after a particularly "heavy" night of partying. The movie is superbly shot and mostly well acted, but I was nevertheless disappointed.

We see the holiday firstly as a 10 minute sequence which moved too rapidly for me. As the movie progresses the holiday is shown in beautiful flashbacks, which give us insight into the characters as well as depicting some of the events that took place. When husband and wife, Dave and Alice (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price) return to Sydney, they leave Alice's sister, Steph (Teresa Palmer), to try to find out what happened to her boyfriend, Jeremy (Antony Starr). Dave is uneasy and troubled, and even more so when Steph arrives home and the first of many secrets is uncovered.

Joel Edgerton is marvellous as a man wracked with guilt and tormented by secrets and lies he dare not reveal. Teresa Palmer is also very good, but unfortunately her part is underwritten. I found that I became a bit bored with Felicity Price's character, Alice, especially when we start to see more and more of her and less of Dave. About half way through, the movie seemed to become stuck, and I was wanting the original storyline to develop and to give answers to the mystery. When truth is finally revealed, it is terrifying, but it feels anti-climactic, because we've had to wait too long.

I found it hard to sweep my expectations aside and see the movie as the writers/director intended it to be: a story about the effect on family life when one spouse hides a dark truth from their partner. I was expecting more of a thriller, and even as I tried to accept the way the plot unfolded, I still found it disappointing. At certain times I felt sympathy for the characters and I felt their pain; but there were scenes where the magnitude of emotions that the characters were experiencing was not adequately conveyed, (for example, the ending). Obviously, Wish You Were Here was not as engrossing for me as it was for others, but I wish it had been.
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7/10
Pretty good drama mystery
MattyGibbs6 September 2014
Wish you were here is the story of four people who take a holiday in Cambodia but one of them goes missing. The film pieces together the mystery of where the missing man has gone.

It's a relatively small film but is well filmed nicely combining drama with the ongoing mystery. It stars the on the up Joel Egerton who is very good in this and he receives excellent support from the rest of the cast who all put in believable performances.

It held my interest throughout as it keeps you guessing as to what has happened to the missing man. The main downside is that it does maybe lose a little steam towards the end and the ending is a little flat.

Wish you were here will not appeal to those who seek action or thrills and is not a brilliant film however for those that like nicely pitched drama's this is well worth watching.
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8/10
Darcy-Smith does a fine job in knitting together a quite straightforward drama into something watchable and insightful.
dipesh-parmar9 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
'Wish You Were Here' is the debut feature from Australian director Kieran Darcy-Smith. A group of Australians visit Cambodia for a holiday, where under mysterious circumstances only three of the original four tourists come back home.

Steph (Teresa Palmer) was invited by her new boyfriend Jeremy (Antony Starr) to come with him to Cambodia where he often travels to for business. Still only a few weeks into their romance, Steph wanted to be certain of her safety so she asks her sister Alice (Felicity Price) and husband Dave (Joel Edgerton) to accompany them.

Rushing backwards and forwards in time, 'Wish You Were Here' slowly pieces together the mystery surrounding Jeremy's disappearance. Just as fascinating is the reasons why everyone else has not been totally honest with each other. Alice and Dave's relationship suffers, all in plain sight of their young children. Their unabashed abandon on holiday is shown in a quite different form at home, we're intrigued as to why certain actions were necessary by each when only harm was the outcome.

Part thriller and part domestic drama, 'Wish You Were Here' is an ambiguous story which keeps you interested until the inevitable conclusion. Sometimes uncomfortable to watch, Price and Edgerton play their parts perfectly, a typically normal couple with huge unwanted responsibilities on their shoulders. Darcy-Smith does a fine job in knitting together a quite straightforward drama into something watchable and insightful.
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8/10
A Compelling Mystery Thriller From Australia
perkypops12 September 2014
The plot is simple, two couples visit Cambodia but only three people return, and the film spends its time skilfully cutting between then and now until we understand what went on during the trip, and also understand the unfolding dramatic relationship between the three who make the return trip.

As a film I thought the acting, the script, the cinematography and the sound were all very commendable. Although the plot format is not original it is very well done after a seemingly confusing opening few minutes leaves you thinking you may have blinked once too often, as the opening credits run with the film. But once the film has settled down the action is driven by the acting and the script, which are always thoughtful. The film makes no attempt to sentimentalise anything but reveals the story as if we are eavesdropping on the actors. There are several poignant moments which are down to great performances by all concerned.

It would be good to see some more output from this stable because there is real promise on show.
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8/10
It takes us fearlessly into dark and challenging places, which is why it is so haunting and memorable
Likes_Ninjas9023 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Dave (Joel Edgerton) and his wife Alice (Felicity Price) are on holidays in Cambodia with her sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) and her new boyfriend Jeremy (Antony Starr). They party together and even take a number of ecstasy tablets. We see a shot of Dave walking around, looking distressed and we suspect he's done something terrible. Returning back to their home in Sydney and it is revealed that Jeremy went missing overseas and that the others returned home before they could find him. While trying to balance their everyday lives with their kids, Dave and Alice are increasingly stressed by their attempts to help the police with the investigation and also Steph's neediness. There is deep conflict between Dave and his wife when he admits that he slept with Steph while they were on holidays. In flashback, we gradually learn about the traumatic fate of the night that Jeremy went missing.

Wish You Were Here starts as a minor thriller but descends into a compelling nightmare, powerfully concerned by social decay and the pressures of modern life. The film was written and directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith, in collaboration with Felicity Price, and confirms that Australian films are untouchable in their representation of a fractured domestic environment. The division between the domestic and the foreign is represented through the contrast of two different worlds. The scenes in Cambodia take place on beaches and in the streets at night. They're spatially open and set to loud thumping beats on the soundtrack. The night skies are faintly lit up by red lights from lanterns and fires. These scenes are organic because the environment isn't structured by rules or boundaries. Law and order is regularly defied. Relationships are broken down, elicit substances are taken and there are nastier surprises to be discovered at the back end of the film. By contrast, the present day scenes are tightly framed to reflect their highly ordered nature. They're restricted by physical boundaries made of glass and brickwork, and many of the environments like the houses, hospitals and government buildings are cold and sterile. There is a certain order to how the domestic life must be run, with the characters bound by times as they have to pick up their kids, go to work and be faithful in their relationships. There's a great high angle shot late in the film of Alice sitting in her car in the middle of a car park. The height of the shot makes the car seem like a singular capsule, caught in the middle of an urban concrete prison. It skilfully reflects how restrictive contemporary city life can be.

Prior to returning to Sydney, there is a fascinating scene where Dave wakes up almost caught between the two worlds. He appears to be in the wilderness because the area has the look of a post-apocalyptic environment, with its grey skies, muted colours, and wild dogs running on the loose. By choosing to step back into the domestic zone, the boundaries between both worlds are removed, leaving the emotional consequences for Dave's actions in Cambodia. From this point we discover that there is genuine skill in how the screenplay opts to tell the story. The film is concentrated and the pacing is leisurely. It feels much longer than its meager ninety minute running time. This is because the secrets of the narrative are exposed gradually through the present day scenes and flashbacks to the past. The payoff is thankfully a tremendously moving one. Adding further excitement and discussion to the story are the more ambiguous touches that are never explained, only hinted at, like the nature of Jeremy's business. The film is also strengthened by three powerful performances. Joel Edgerton is perhaps the best he's ever been, visibly traumatised with guilt and touches of paranoia too as he desperately tries to hold his family together. Despite its modesty, the power of this thriller comes from the naturalistic performances and the gradual layers of the story that are revealed. As with a lot of local films it takes us fearlessly into dark and challenging places, which is why it is so haunting and memorable.
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9/10
Compelling and engagingly complex
fildurh210 August 2014
Sometimes I wonder what it must take to keep some people happy with their movies. Here is a taut thriller with unexpected twists and turns, complexity and intriguing characters. Actors who you can't take your eyes off, locations to die for. I think perhaps some viewers simply want to be spoon-fed on the usual stodge so they don't have to think too much, just let their digestive system do all the work for them. There's no need for me here to go over any of the plot, scenes or theme as it's already been outlined. But it may be useful for me to point out that for some who may be Americo-centric in their outlook that there is another world out there, many in fact, than may not exist in your philosophy. This film is engaging, indeed compelling in its storyline, utterly believable if you know anything of the real world, the acting moving and impressive, the actors very easy on the eye as well, the action intense - those Asian mafia were truly menacing - and if it's a little too hard in your thinking to integrate a thriller with a deeper investigation of human relationships then perhaps this movie will be beyond you and you should stick with your usual suspects. Highly recommended.
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10/10
The perfect movie about modern Cambodia
TobyWanKenobi16 May 2013
I was working in Phnom Penh and saw this movie at The Flicks Community Movie House. For me, it perfectly captures both the light and the darkness of modern Cambodia. Cambodia is Eden -- lush, green, magical, innocent. And the opening montage of shots in and around Phnom Penh perfectly captures the pure joy that foreigners can often feel as they experience this wondrous place. But the story of Eden also contains the fall. And what tourists (like the 3 Australians in the film) don't always get, is that Cambodia is still healing, still recovering from the wars (2nd Indochina, followed by Pol Pot, followed by 19 years of civil war). And just beneath the surface of paradise, there can be real danger especially for those who don't know what they are dealing with. I walked out of the theater (into the blasting heat of Phnom Penh) grateful that someone understood and was able to capture through film the complex energies of this moment in this place. (Even though more than half of the movie takes place in Australia, this is very much a movie about Cambodia -- as seen through the eyes of foreigners.)

This was also the first time I've seen Joel Edgerton in anything -- and he's a brilliant actor I think (I'm told he's been a big deal in Australia for a while). I just saw Edgerton in Zero Dark Thirty in a small role. I also rented (bought?) Animal Kingdom on iTunes because he was in it and he's great in that too.

I'm hoping Wish You Were Here gets a theatrical release in the U.S. If not, I'm hoping it will get a release soon on iTunes and Amazon.com. I've probably checked both places 10 times hoping it will be available but no release yet. I plan to recommend this movie to friends and family (in spite of the very intense subject matter) just because it captures the energy of the place that is so hard to put into words.

Your mileage may vary. But this movie hit me at just the right time and 6 months later, I'm scouring the internet trying to find a way to see it again.
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5/10
No thrills here
streamofstars29 April 2012
Wish You Were Here starts with a barrage of sights and sounds, as married couple Dave and his pregnant wife Alice (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price), Alice's younger sister Steph (Teresa Palmer) and new boyfriend Jeremy (Antony Starr) holiday in Cambodia. All too quickly Dave and Alice have returned to Sydney, and we find out that Jeremy is missing after a drug fuelled night. As Steph returns home, questions are asked and secrets revealed as the trio try to cope with what happened.

I was intrigued as to where the movie was headed, but at around the 50 minute mark I was starting to lose patience, waiting for it to get to a point. When it finally got to that point, although shocking, I almost didn't even care what had really happened. And the final moments felt rushed and glossed over.

We don't get to see nearly enough of Edgerton or Palmer, both of whom have exceptional talent. Edgerton really embraces the character of Dave who is hiding a dark secret and it's slowly tearing him apart. Palmer doesn't get the chance to shine as her character is left alone to suffer. Considering it was Steph's boyfriend who disappeared, it would have been better to see more from her point of view. Price floats through with the same bored expression as a self absorbed wife. Starr is likable and very believable, but again we don't get to see him enough.

Unfortunately director Kieran Darcy-Smith's first feature doesn't know what it wants to be, and perhaps tries to be a little too clever for it's own good. I'll admit that the stunning trailer with the hypnotic music was what captivated me and gave me high hopes for Wish You Were Here, but I also feel that the trailer gives a different impression of what the movie ends up being about. It starts out as a mystery, but about half way through Alice becomes the main character and the movie takes a left turn into a narrative about a marriage breakdown from only one person's point of view.

The locations in both Sydney and abroad have been beautifully shot. The scenes between past and present flow seamlessly. Besides the opening of the movie, the fateful holiday is shown only through minor flashbacks, which I think are the highlight.

Australian movies certainly have the ability to pull you in and not let you go. But it's frustrating when you know a movie has the potential to move you and engage you, and it fails to do so. This should have been a gripping dramatic thriller, but sadly there are no thrills to be had here.
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5/10
While on holiday in Cambodia, two couples partake in all the traditional tourist attractions the impoverished country has to offer.
SLUGMagazineFilms20 January 2012
While on holiday in Cambodia, two couples, Dave and Alice Flannery (Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price) and Steph McKinney and Jeremy King (Teresa Palmer and Antony Starr), partake in all the traditional tourist attractions the impoverished country has to offer, but after attending an underground dance party, Jeremy unexpectedly disappears and a dark secret is buried within the circle of friends. What starts out like a third chapter in "The Hangover" franchise quickly morphs into a simple and dismal story of betrayal that drags its feet through the first two acts, only to conclude on an intriguing high note. However, the compelling conclusion only leaves an irritating aftertaste, since the journey certainly isn't worth the pay off. Director Kieran Darcy-Smith neglects his characters' foundations and significance to such a degree that viewers have little to invest in. In turn, everyone's wavering fates are insignificant and disposable. In the same fashion of the story, Edgerton and Price float through the film without devoting too much into their characters, but once the finale comes into play, they immediately switch gears and display their true acting abilities.
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5/10
Dramatically unrewarding with a dud ending.
jackcwelch2315 October 2017
This movie only manages to keep viewers vague interest. It also is unconvincing in its plotting and characterisations. Teresa Palmer is given a plain boring role but still manages to give it a good shot, where as Joel Edgerton is pretty week, trying to be mysterious but giving us little reason to care what he's hiding. The movie is well shot and has solid faming and colour but also comes off like a Bali tourism advert at times. The central mystery just isn't that compelling and whatever tension is there throughout the story quickly deflates rather than explodes like it should. It just simply isn't worth an hour and a half of your time.
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5/10
Good acting, poor story,poor film
Rebasguy19 September 2012
Saw this recently on a flight from Bangkok and although it was only on the incredibly small screen, I think it was about the right size for the story. It was a very simple tale, with not too much drama and fairly predictable narrative wrapped around a very obvious dialogue. The main lead acted well and that in my mind magnified the shortcomings of the story.

There were obvious gaps in the story that the actors tried to fill with raw emotion but that didn't quite gel with me and there was the willing suspension of disbelief with regard to the final scenes that were meant to sum up so much but instead left you feeling that the tale had been dragged out somewhat.
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9/10
Read Me
williamperno17 September 2012
If you call a great movie.. a great film... this is the movie for you. Wish you were here brings real hope that there is still real talent left in the movie industry. This film was somebody's baby, with obvious signs that serious time was taken on how to reveal each scene while building up to an emotional response with the audience. This film may leave some viewers feeling that some of the film was slow and simple but that's part of the beauty here folks. I was very impressed with the acting from all characters across the board and I mean all... It was real... Wish You Were Here ..I say well done! If you enjoyed this then I suggest checking out another great film . .. City Of God
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9/10
An excellent mystery that unfolds with little mystery.
diane-3423 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Diane and I watched this film in Freo this morning and both of us loved it. True, those intelligent movie buffs in the audience probably saw the whole movie unfold in the first few minutes or even before they entered the theater but we lesser mortals still found the unfolding scenario compelling viewing.

The movie was very well acted by all concerned and the directing, cinematography and editing where extremely good and therefore satisfying. "Oh what webs we weave when first we practice to deceive" comes immediately to mind as the story unfolds. You shake your head in disbelief and the second old saw springs to mind after the last scenes are shown:"fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

Initially I thought that the film would take place in South-east Asia but the predominance of the film was shot in Sydney and only the key parts in Asia. It is a great movie and I urge anyone to see it.
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10/10
Really Good Acting & Tense Drama
trickstar_trippy22 September 2012
Great acting, that's what first comes to mind. Also, a refreshing sense of proper Aussie film-making (in the vein of 'Animal Kingdom' or 'Wolf Creek'). It's tense, very well lensed, fleshed out characters. As the personal drama in the family life unfolds, so does the mystery begin to unravel. The ending doesn't come as a shock, but as a carefully built up finale. Strongly recommended for everyone who's into thriller/drama with horror touches. It uses enough plot elements which aren't the most original, but the way the script blends all these elements into a coherent and well-paced story. A sense of permanent dread menaces the situations on-screen, but this is far from being a grim film. It balances out really well, as there are enough family subplots that lighten it up when the film becomes too tense.

And, again, great performances from the actors.
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3/10
A climax definitely not worth the wait
karmaswimswami19 April 2014
Two Sydney couples vacation in Cambodia, drop some E, and then one of them doesn't return. One wades through 90 minutes of feints and starts, red herrings and miscues, script McGuffins and irrelevant intrigue, all to get to the punchline, the climax, the upshot, the endpoint of what happens to Jeremy. You'll find out, in due time, boredom having grown sufficiently intense within you, only to realize knowing is not worth the tedium. We spend pointless time being faked out by the subplot that Steph, Jeremy's girlfriend, slept with sister Allison's husband (the wag in me watched this and kept saying, "no they didn't!" because it is miring digression that bears little credibility and no relevance). Australia's film industry can do way better than this jaded, cynical, unoriginal, stereotype-laden confection. I hope.
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6/10
Wish You Were Better
osterhoutj_210 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This film had a great deal of promise but fell short in my opinion. Excellent acting by the cast, mainly the performance of Joel Edgerton who portrays Dave the grief tortured, terrified family man superbly. The cast carried this film.

The plot was solid, but I think the film suffers from the choppiness of the telling. The film opens with about 10 minutes of the vacation to Asia where the catalyst for the film originates could've been longer to eliminate some of the flashbacks, while still maintaining the mysterious integrity of the story. By the end of the film you have it figured out that the mystery around Jeremy's disappearance lacks optimism, but there is still shock factor in the reveal.

Overall, solid movie, very well acted…just takes too long to get to the end which could've been improved upon by a slight difference in the way the story was told.
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4/10
Good example of what not to do
ovid-owl17 November 2014
I got through the movie, the acting was not horrible, but I absolutely hate when the movie keeps bouncing from past to present. Drives me nuts and I have to think the director thinks they are creative, I just think they are lazy and can't tell a decent story. That being said, all actors were believable, and the story did its job. This really shouldn't be necessary to say, but if you go somewhere new, it is not a good idea to get so blitzed out that you lose your sense of well being. Stay safe! Everyone wants to have fun, and Cambodia I have no doubt is beautiful and offers a lot of entertainment. I think anyone who watches anything on Asian cultures knows they delve into areas that are distasteful. It is not a place I would care to visit but if I did, I wouldn't be stupid about it.
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10/10
Still in love with this team
MayaKavanagh25 November 2013
I know I'm a bit biased when it comes to the savants behind the Aquarius Films and Blue-Tongue Films collective but I can't help it: these guys are just too damn good!

Wish You Were Here is an emotional roller-coaster that explores the varying reactions of human beings when they are faced with turmoil. Felicity Price (co-writer with husband Kieran Darcy- Smith) plays Alice, a pregnant, formidable mother who discovers after returning from holiday in Cambodia that her husband, Dave(Joel Edgerton) had an affair whilst on the trip. It is the who rather than the how that causes the most drama as the "other woman" was Alice's younger, crazier sister Stef(Teresa Palmer). This love-triangle drama is framed by the wittingly suspenseful disappearance of Stef's new boyfriend, Jeremy(Antony Starr), who vanishes during their final days in Cambodia seemingly without a trace.

Darcy-Smith (DS) and the crew behind WYWH play the audience brilliantly: from their calculating publicity strategy to play up the disappearance of Jeremy over the main drama revolving around Dave and Alice's strained relationship; to the eventual unfolding of the film's overall story which happens as if pages of a book had been torn from the spine and fluttered on the ground, only for the reader to read them in whatever order he found them. It is a brilliant way to tell films that turns the traditional circular narrative completely on its head. DS and Felicity Price have a delightful way of writing which encourages the audience to view the narrative from all points of view. When you believe you have sided with one character, something happens next to completely change your allegiance and before you know it, you're rooting for the other side.

The cast of this film is also well selected however, I believe some characters (and their corresponding actors) were downplayed a little too much for instance, the character of Stef and our lack of ability to experience her pain and grief and the loss of her new love. Of course, this is all done within reason which the viewer discovers towards the end of the film when we find out that Jeremy and Stef were only new flames, not old embers like Alice and Dave which, whilst it sounds cruel to say, doesn't encourage the audience to feel as sympathetic for their romance being cut short considering it only lasted 6 weeks. Still, Teresa and Antony both give it their all despite their limited screen time which only adds to Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price's performances who play their characters effectively and with a great sense of knowledge about the inner workings of their characters' minds. Its very difficult to watch actors who are inwardly judging their own roles but there is none of that from these two leads. This may come down to Felicity's affiliation with the story from the writing stage but at lot more can be attributed to her as a great actress, as it can with Joel and his capabilities.
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5/10
Dumb Characters
pc9525 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
It's difficult to like a movie where the majority of the main characters are complete dim-wits. Take case in point, Australian movie "Wish you were here" directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith. As has often become the case the actors seem competent and believable in their emotions and reactions. However script and filmmakers have the lead triangle of characters, especially Joel Edgerton's "Dave" as getting what they deserve. Are we supposed to feel sympathy for tourists who fail to protect themselves in foreign lands. Late in the movie, Edgerton is trying to vent his sadness, he wails and sobs to his wife, but merits nothing but disgust. He is solely to blame and a complete fool. Anyway, additionally soundtrack music was obtrusive and grating. This is another lost story that had potential. Not recommended 5/10
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7/10
Effective telemovie mystery centres on middle-class marital woes, following a Cambodian holiday gone wrong.
adam-703-8086893 July 2013
Don't be put off by the opening of this movie, which shows four privileged thirty-somethings indulging themselves on a SE Asian holiday; followed by more self-conscious family life in pretty Sydney surroundings. Then it appears not all is well. One of the four, a businessman, has gone missing, and other things which happened on the holiday begin to be revealed. Excellent performances from Teresa Palmer and Joel Edgerton, and a skillful withholding of information, keep this mystery/emotional drama ticking over. The prettiness of the photography is a nice irony, contrasting with the increasingly murky revelations. There's a slight over-indulgence in arty camera angles when you'd like to get closer to the characters and their feelings; the performances by the missing man's parents are unconvincing, and the the lead female performance is often curiously detached. Nevertheless this is one of those stories which slowly grows stronger; its twists are credible and powerful. Good work!
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8/10
Nice plot, Awesome acting & Good suspense elements!
ameysharma8 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Let me start by telling that this movie has been into spotlight since months right from an official entry into 'Sundance Film Festival' and till now the buzz is still on-going, which is a great thing. I first saw the trailer and was fascinated by it and 'Think It Over' song struck my ears since then. Moreover being a 'Teresa Palmer' fan overall I had lot of expectations from the movie and Yes!...it does have all those needed elements to keep you involve.

This is first time I watched an Aussie film and loved it. Way the movie starts is amazing. Thanks to Kieren, in a carefree South-East Asian holiday we get to see Cambodia with foot-stomping music and in few minutes later, way the movie title appears, the scene is terrific and impactive. So you come to know this is gonna be interesting ahead. Sydney is delighting for the eyes. Overall the cinematography of the film is splendid.

In terms of acting Felicity Price, Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer have very strong performances. Unfortunately Antony Starr is very good but has very short role, which is bit disappointing, considering people would have liked to see him more. Plot of the film is quite familiar though, but it has been handled differently and that's where the movie's plus point lies. I have to mention, Tim Rogers's music is really impactive and I's felicitous to hear 'Think it over' when end titles kept rolling.

I would have given rating as 9 for the movie, but only drawback movies has is continuity. I's confused several times watching and thinking, is it flashback or present. Editing is nice, but has certain flaws to make you think and drift away from the flow.

So overall, I loved the film and I really appreciate actor Kieran Darcy-Smith's directorial debut. Film is co-written by his wife Felicity Price, who is outstanding actress I must say. This film has awesome acting, nice plot, good locations and continuous suspense to keep us involve. Main thing about the film is, it has significant impact and was not been compromised in terms of budget, which could have been major issue. Hence thumbs-up from my side and I'd love to see Kieran's next attempt.
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8/10
Good indie, emotionally heavy but some highlights
robertemerald30 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
If you love movies because they take you to far away shores then this should interest you. There's a really good introduction here that is a wonderful portrayal of tourist highlights in Cambodia, very colourful and full of smiles. The picture darkens rapidly, a series of flashbacks providing the picture's deconstruction narrative. Basically, after the first quarter of smiles, things go south, and with a number of other revelations, an accident and a difficult birth acting as shotgun blasts on a previously harmonious and seemingly blessed Sydney beachside existence. There is fairly good cinematography throughout, and some inspired directing and editing, although toward the end I did notice an unnecessary quiver to some of the camera work. It's a decent thriller/what really happened, and reminded me of a lot of SBS dramas such as The Slap. The actors were certainly impressive, although some of the characterisations did tend to push the envelope beyond believability. Wish You Were Here does succeed however in its portrait of very human and ordinary Australians caught beyond their depths, and should be praised for that. In the end though, there is not a lot of substance, and the movie is basically a cautionary tale about the perils of drug taking, particularly while overseas. I enjoyed it to a degree (not being a fan of flashback techniques), but must admit toward the end I was willing the increasingly bleak and terse emotional depth of everything to move to its conclusion.
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8/10
Great, but more drama than thriller
mrnunleygo13 December 2015
This was a terrific movie if you let it be what it is: a character-driven drama about a marriage challenged by an occurrence too frightening to be ignored. I watched it because I'm a Teresa Palmer fan, but it was Felicity Price (also co-screenwriter) who was the revelation. The opening montage of Cambodia captured the other-worldliness that tourists in Asia often experience but also the joy they brought with them to that experience; later reminders that introduced flashbacks also brought in the sense of menace that goes with encounters with the unfamiliar. The acting was great, the actions of the characters quite believable taken in context. Scenes with children have the potential to wreck otherwise good movies, but those here were excellent. I agree with reviewers who think the movie was slow-moving and there were times I wanted to move on to the next scene, but notwithstanding this it held my interest throughout.
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10/10
At least we give it ago.
whipthedog5 May 2012
Aussies are so attuned to all types of media being American sourced, that watching a movie without American actors and accents in Australian theaters seems totally foreign. It actually took me a while to get accustomed to the accent coming from the screen. My partner, who is brilliant at picking up the smallest clues in the script had to keep me informed on the plot as it progressed. I am one one those viewers that enjoys a movie much more on the second viewing. And that is not only this movie, thats all movies. There is no need for me to go into detail of the plot, that has been covered in other reviews. I must have been engrossed without realizing it, because I was sort of caught off guard when the credits started rolling. I had a mental picture in my mind as to how the whole mess these people had gotten themselves into, was going to pan out. And I was way off.
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7/10
Drama Suspense Mystery....Yes!
Fancytower28 November 2015
Australia is giving us some impressive films and Wish You Were Here is a fine example of that. Australia is churning out some amazing directors, actors and films. I'm at that point where I see Australian directors, I give it a view. And you should definitely give Wish You Were Here a view.

It is difficult to write a review of a movie and not give away any plot points. The story is as much about a family and familial ties as it is about a mystery of a missing person. Nicely shot with superb actors and you get a nice little mystery with some family drama and international intrigue. A+
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