Set in 1983 in a slow and quiet town, the film follows a deputy named Norman Young (Brenton Thwaites). Norman is known as a good man and a good deputy within his local community. On the other hand, his brother, Ray (Ben Robson), is known for general mischief and is quite different in personality and lifestyle choice. No matter how much trouble Ray gets into, Norman is always by his side to back him up because he is, after all, family.
But things get tense and dramatic when Ray finds himself involved in a horrific accident that costs the life of another person close to him. Norman is soon aware of this situation and the tragedy that Ray has just been part of. Now Norman must make a challenging choice to either bring in and arrest his very own brother or help him cover it up. Norman chooses to assist in covering up his brother’s wrongdoings, meaning he will now have to live with the burden of guilt. He also has to continually try to make sure both he and his brother do not get caught.
The film is best classed as a slow-burning crime thriller. A Violent Separation introduces multiple characters who have suspicions about the truth of the town’s most recent disappearance. I found myself rather invested and was curious to see if any of the main leads would indeed get caught or would they be able to get away with it and live with the guilt of their crimes forever. While the film is slow-paced, I never found myself too bored or uninterested by the plot; however, the film’s third and final act let the film down. I hoped for a more significant impact and finale as the credits rolled.
Visually the film is positive, along with its audio track to complement it. For the most part, the performances were ok, but some moments certainly feel slightly bland instead of leaving a lasting impact or delivering a high level of tension to the audience. Actor Ted Levine was a nice touch to this film as he conducts his investigation.
Overall, this is a good slow-burning crime thriller about two brothers attempting to keep a deep secret from the people closest to them. The plot, thankfully, has some unpredictable moments with a good pace even though it is slower than most movie lovers would prefer. Still, it was fun to see that something was constantly occurring with multiple characters. Performances and the film’s third act are the weakest elements and hold the movie back from delivering something that could have been far more impacting or memorable.
A Violent Separation (2019) is Now Available on DVD!