In “The Square,” an edge-of-the-seat Australian import, director Nash Edgerton and his brother Joel constantly challenge the audience’s perceptions of right and wrong. As the everyman protagonist of the film makes some difficult moral choices, viewers take that long, painful journey with him.
An extra-marital affair leads to disaster in “The Square”
“The Square” is the story of Raymond Yale (David Roberts), the foreman for a construction company. Ray’s marriage has become so humdrum and routine that he starts an affair with Carla (Claire van der Boom), his married neighbor. Carla likes being with Ray so much that they even have a romantic rendezvous in the back of his car while their dogs play in her vehicle.
Carla and Ray like being with each other so much that they talk about running away together, leaving their respective spouses behind to pick up the pieces. Carla says she can bring her husband’s secret stash of cash with them, which she believes he earned through illegal activities. Ray also has money to contribute, especially a big kickback he arranged with a local contractor.
Unfortunately, their plans don’t work out quite as expected. Instead of driving off into the sunset together, Ray makes some fatal mistakes which affect everyone from his construction workers all the way down to Carla’s pet dog. The more he tries to repair the damage, the more people get caught in the crossfire.
“The Square” is a morality play
A powerful piece of cinema directed by former stuntman Nash Edgerton, “The Square” is a morality play that explores how far someone will go to hide the truth. The script, co-written by Joel Edgerton, is filled with ordinary people whose lives spin out of control thanks to very bad decisions.
The title itself also is open to interpretation. In one sense, “The Square” refers to an open-air plaza in Ray’s latest construction project, but it also refers to the tight box that Ray finds himself in. As he tries to escape his moral dilemma, other people are pulled into the square with him.
At other times, “The Square” means being fair and square with everyone in your life. At any point in the movie, Ray could have stopped the damage simply by owing up to his own bad behavior. By not being fair and square, however, Ray slowly sinks into a deep pit of deception and lies.
Joel Edgerton co-wrote the script and also has a key role in “The Square”
Screenwriter Joel Edgerton created an interesting character in Raymond Yale, who is brought to life by actor David Roberts. Roberts brings the necessary everyman qualities to the role, that of an aging husband who takes one last shot at life’s brass ring.
Joel Edgerton tackles the key role of Billy, a guy who, despite his shady occupation, has a strict moral code. When Ray’s actions cause Billy to violate that code, he must take swift and immediate action.
“Spider” paired with “The Square”
Audiences going to the “The Square” also get the opportunity to see “Spider,” the acclaimed short film that Nash Edgerton directed in 2007. “Spider” tells the story of a young man trying to win back the love of his life, but a cruel twist of fate could make that impossible.
“The Square” currently is playing in limited release in theaters across the country. The film goes into wider release on Friday, May 7 and Friday, May 14. Check your local art house theaters to see if they will be showing “The Square.”