But O’Brien brings a sweet energy to the role, ensuring that his heartache and frustrations make perfect sense. Plus, he and Peter never go the easy route and have Alex take out his anger at what happened on anyone else. No, this is more of an intimate journey of self-discovery for someone trying to learn how to heal. Every conversation and line out of the actor’s mouth is natural and believable.
All of that is true of Lehman as well. Road To Perth is from Alex’s point of view, so the character’s not given as much screen time, but she makes the most of it. Every line and movement portrays something about Ronnie that’s lying just under the surface. There are two standout sequences where the actor bears it all in very different fashions. One involves a pink lake and the other where Alex and Ronnie will be staying one particular night. Lehman does not go over-the-top in these moments, as might be the tendency of a lesser thespian. No, she plays them with nuance and grace that highlights the character’s goals and wants.
“Accompanying both astounding performances is the cinematography…”
Accompanying both astounding performances is the cinematography by Peter (who also edited the picture). The naturally stunning vistas of Australia are on full display as the landscape engulfs the heroes with each new destination. The film is gorgeous from top to bottom, with the scenes of Alex and Ronnie talking in the car being just as well framed and lit as the sequences highlighting the splendor of the country.
Has one seen productions with similar stories or themes to Road To Perth? Absolutely, though never one done in this style or with such elegance. The actors honestly stir up emotions, the scenery is outstanding, the characters are lovable, and the entire affair wraps up pitch perfectly.
P.S. – Requisite shoutout to Road Games, Mad Max, and Razorback, amazing Aussie titles that did not naturally fit into this review proper.
"…Australia is host to...[a] fantastic independent movie scene."