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Wish You Were Here

Why I'll never go to Cambodia

Rod Lott September 17th, 2013

Bearing an ironic title, the Australian film Wish You Were Here tells the story of four people who vacation together to Cambodia (of all places), yet only three return home. Jeremy (Antony Starr, TV's Banshee) goes missing after an Ecstasy-fueled party; foul play is feared, although his passport and bank account remain untouched. 


Jeremy's girlfriend, Steph (Teresa Palmer, Warm Bodies), is the younger sister of Alice (Felicity Price), who also went on the trip with her husband, Dave (Joel Edgerton, Zero Dark Thirty). One of those three knows more than he/she lets on; furthermore, two of the three hold an additional secret from the other. 

Price co-wrote the screenplay with her real-life husband, Animal Kingdom actor Kieran Darcy-Smith, who as a first-time feature director toys with the conventions of the genre to make Wish You Were Here an interesting, occasionally tense exercise. Not all of his touches are for good; we get next to no time to know Jeremy before he's gone, and the scrambled narrative doesn't always make it evident whether viewers are watching a scene from the past or present. 

Neither stands as a formidable obstacle to your enjoyment of this smart thriller, well-acted by Edgerton and Price as a married couple whose bond is tested sorely. Those movie watchers who found their pulses quickened by recent Down Under crime stories like The Square and Beautiful should jump aboard this, too. —Rod Lott

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