A man named Dan Fisher (Hugo Weaving) is getting ready for a large exhibition featuring his photographic work. Daniel is a professional photographer who is best known for taking photos on the most dangerous battlefields and during the many wars around the world.
After Dan gets interviewed on the radio, a taxi driver named Sebastian (Andrew Luri) hears the interview and decides to try to find Dan and speak with him. The reason for this is that Sebastian is originally from South Sudan, where his family was murdered in a massacre. Dan was present taking photos when these tragic events occurred to Sebastian’s family. The images that Dan took are scheduled to be part of the exhibition. Sebastian politely asks Dan if these photos can be removed from his upcoming presentation as he feels his family has suffered enough.
To my surprise, the plot of Hearts and Bones on paper sounds like a possible drama movie focused on the two men. But after watching this film, I was surprised to find it is nothing like what I initially assumed.
This film is about an unlikely friendship and a life-changing bond. While the two men have a different past and present, they have both struggled to confront some personal issues and move forward in life. For example, while Dan is dealing with his upcoming exhibition, he discovers his partner is pregnant, and he does not react too well when he hears the news (for reasons explained later in the film). Dan is also suffering from health challenges, and the list goes on.
As far as performances go, they are tremendous, particularly from the actor Hugo Weaving. I must also speak highly of actor Andrew Luri who plays Sebastian. The supporting cast was also fantastic and played critical aspects within the film’s story. As a plot, this film got to me deeply. At times I had watery eyes or even found it hard to breathe, it is that impacting and dramatic. While the film is dramatic, I was also surprised that there were some moments of slight mystery which was also a nice touch. Hearts and Bones has been directed by Ben Lawrence who previously completed the documentary known as Ghost Hunter, back in 2018. But this is Ben’s first time directing a drama film, and I must say it certainly feels fresh to see.
Overall, Heart and Bones is a tremendous film with incredible performances from all cast (particularly Hugo Weaving). As a plot, it is undoubtedly a touching story which impacted me greatly. Credit also goes out to director Ben Lawrence who tackled the drama genre with beautiful results and a freshness. Any issues I had with the film were more personal and related to minor elements.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden