Cerulean Blue (M) - 72 minutes
Two lost souls go on an unexpected journey together in a new, ultra-low budget, self-funded Australian film Cerulean Blue.
Alex (Jack Michel) is as introverted as they come. He is awkward around people, with whom he doesn’t like to interact. He is a taciturn germophobe who disinfects at every opportunity.
In fact, he goes out of his way to avoid others unless absolutely necessary and that includes turning his back on people in distress.
So it is that after an incident at a petrol station, Alex almost runs over – then pulls away from – a young woman, Lily (Senie Priti), who is hitchhiking.
He is heading from Brisbane to Melbourne and is frequently writing into his little notebook. We only find out why much later into the movie.
The next day the woman whom he almost ran over bumps into him again and tries to engage him in conversation.
She is a free spirit – friendly, outgoing and curious … eager to chat – although she has picked the wrong target because he gives her the big brush off.
Regardless, circumstances conspire to see them travelling together in his barely operating old cerulean blue car.
Gradually, we – the audience – learn why both of them are on the road … what their motivations are.
They are like chalk and cheese and yet, at this point, they only have each other, decidedly tenuous though that connection is, at first.
You see, trust is in short supply when it comes to him.
Cerulean Blue is an independent drama with comedic flourishes – a thesis on love, loss and all things in between.
It is the outcome of first-time feature film writer and director Adrian Ortega’s experiences tackling depression, obsession, regret and isolation in his early 20s.
The film is slow going. It takes a long time to build up any momentum and by then you may have switched off.
Ortega took the idea of the pregnant pause far too far and used it throughout the picture.
Alex isn’t a readily relatable character. He is flat and lacks charisma.
Lily injects spark and spunk and Priti plays her well.
The film displays a few artistic touches – including at one stage using still frames like postcards – that weren’t really necessary, but added a small element of interest.
Still, I am afraid there wasn’t enough in the narrative to sustain me.
The idea was sound, but more substance was needed to pull it off.
As it was, much of Cerulean Blue was just plain boring.
Playing on Stan, it scores a 4 out of 10.