I’ll admit that I’m a little confounded by how much I enjoyed Dustin Feneley’s Stray—confounded by the fact that from start to finish, it does many of the things I’ve criticized other films for and giving those negative reviews and ratings. Yet, it somehow works in this specific film. I suppose rules are meant to be broken.
Stray is the story of two strangers whose lives change the moment they meet. Jack (Kieran Charnock) was recently released from prison for physically assaulting the man who killed his girlfriend in a hit-and-run. Now on parole, Jack’s just been downsized from his job, and the prospects are not that good for another job as the economic conditions in New Zealand look bleak.
“As the tension dissipates, the two become acquaintances and it is off to the bedroom…”
Jack soon hops on a boat toward a remote mountain location to live in his family’s cabin. There he stews in his thoughts of prison, unemployment, and grief. Jack begins planning some revenge.
Grace (Arta Dobroshi) was also recently released from a psychiatric facility. Now estranged from her family, Grace has nowhere to go, and finding work is discouraging. While Jack is away (enacting his plan), Grace stumbles upon his cabin and makes herself at home. Soon, Jack returns and discovers Grace in his house, which leads to a tense encounter. As the tension dissipates, the two become acquaintances and it is off to the bedroom to…shag.
"…two strangers whose lives change the moment they meet."