Friends and Strangers is a surreal comedy-drama that explores displacement, disconnection, and ennui in contemporary Australia through the eyes of two upper-middle-class millennials. The film presents several sketches from life as experienced by Alice and Ray, two nearly-thirty drifters born into privilege but seemingly incapable of navigating the featureless ocean of casual employment, limp romances, and half-assed entrepreneurial schemes.
Friends and Strangers is a portrait of contemporary Australia through the eyes of millennials. Ray and Alice, who come in the first sequence of the film, grew up in the upper-middle class; however, they don’t own anything and have no grand plan. The story unfolds into the camping episode of Ray and Alice, Ray’s wedding video shooting, and a final sequence with a surreal nuance. The film does not carry dramatic events. Instead, it looks into a distorted, disconnected, and worthless world through their perspective. The occasional music of woodwind instruments strengthens the surreal ambiance. Film critic Adrian Martin says the film is similar to Éric Rohmer’s in terms of “comedy of manners,” but is more in line with Hong Sangsoo’s in terms of structure in which characters appear and disappear in episodes. (MOON Seok)
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