Robert Connolly’s The Dry is one of those films that reminds you how good a cinematic experience can be. You become immediately immersed in the setting and story from the very first frames. The film features beautiful landscapes and cinematography from the start. A stunning visual experience adds to compelling and suspenseful pacing. All of the technical artistry comes together to tell an intriguing murder-mystery story that’s worth solving.
You may not realize how visually discerning even the most casual movie-goers can be. We often don’t think twice about it, but we can almost instantly tell the difference between a well-shot film and a poorly shot film. The former is true for The Dry. Landscape shots and character shots have beautiful symmetry and interesting angles. Those elements keep you visually engaged. The landscape cinematography has an art gallery quality to it. Each frame could be printed and hung on display. Character shots avoid relying on simple front and center composition and instead play with angles to create a sense of intrigue. The Dry is art in motion.
Pacing a Story
One of the factors that make the storytelling of The Dry so engaging is its pacing. The film has a slow and steady pace that creeps along until the climax. It adds lots of eerie suspense to the mystery. The cinematography compliments the pacing with lengthier shots that slowly develop. That tension helps set up the final reveals toward the end. It illustrates the importance of each element of filmmaking to tell a compelling story.
A Refreshingly Good Mystery
The Dry comfortably fits within the murder-mystery genre. Unlike many others in the genre, this film tells a surprisingly unique story. The film centers around the central murder mystery and weaves in a second plot that is just as interesting. Much of the story credit goes to Jane Harper, who penned the novel from which the film draws. However, Robert Connolly’s execution of the screenplay is done so in a way that’s shocking but grounded and believable. You never feel as if the events or circumstances could never happen in the real world. The revelations both shock and inform. Bottom line: It all just makes sense.