Some movies beg for comparison to others, and the film that The Square most resembles is Body Heat. Both dramas fall into the category of film noir, both feature illicit lovers doing very bad things, and both want nothing more than to ratchet up audience tension.
The Square mostly succeeds, but it falls short of Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 classic for a number of reasons. The Square doesn’t have two compelling characters, it has just one (the male lead). And director Nash Edgerton’s film lacks something else found in Body Heat — a delicious twist ending. It tries to compensate by jacking up the body count.
David Roberts plays everyman Ray Yale, a married construction foreman carrying on with Carla (Claire van der Boom), who is married to a small-time crook. When Carla discovers her husband’s stash of stolen cash, she persuades Ray that the money is their ticket to paradise.
Ray reluctantly goes along with Carla’s plan, and of course their scheme rapidly goes from bad to worse. Edgerton does a nice job building suspense, but The Square is handicapped by a script that has plenty of bodies, just not enough soul. Grade: B
Director: Nash Edgerton Cast: David Roberts, Claire van der Boom, Joel Edgerton, Anthony Hayes, Peter Phelps, Bill Hunter, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence Release: 2010
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