‘The Dry’ Blu-Ray Review – Eric Bana Impresses In Enthralling Australian Crime Drama

Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his home town after an absence of over twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, who allegedly killed his wife and child before taking his own life — a victim of the madness that has ravaged this community after more than a decade of drought. When Falk reluctantly agrees to stay and investigate the crime, he opens up an old wound — the death of 17 year old Ellie Deacon. Falk begins to suspect these two crimes, separated by decades, are connected. As he struggles to prove not only Luke’s innocence but also his own, Falk finds himself pitted against the prejudice towards him and pent up rage of a terrified community.

For thoughts on The Dry, please see my previous conversation here.

Video Quality

The Dry comes to Blu-Ray with a gorgeous AVC encoded 1080p transfer that showcases the look of the film really well. Where the transfer really shines is the impressive level of detail both in the costumes and the production design. Everything from the gritty interiors to the texture of the costumes is quite impressive. The cinematography features few pops of color with everything appearing to have earthy, dying quality about it to match the location. The film mostly subsists on a various shades of brown where not much leaps off the screen. The picture is mostly clear with only brief instances of murkiness during a few darker scenes. Black levels are admirable but could stand to be a bit deeper. Skin tones are natural throughout with some impeccable details present in certain shots. Overall, this is quite a powerful transfer that should please fans. 

Audio Quality

The film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that has quite a bit of depth and is well balanced. Environmental effects play a substantial role in the film, and this track brings these elements to life quite capably. The use of the rear channels to create a fully enveloping world works quite well. The directionality is quite precise so sounds always present as natural when coming from their respective points. Dialogue comes through crisp and clear without being overwhelmed by any of the other sounds. The music maintains a nice fidelity throughout. Activity in the low end is very subtle and is mostly used to add a bit of texture to some of the more kinetic moments. RLJE Films has delivered a great track for this film. 

Special Features

  • Homecoming: A four-minute piece which explores the themes of the story and what returning home means within the context of this narrative. There are some nice insights from the actors as well as the author of the source material. 
  • Page To Screen: A four-minute featurette in which author Jane Harper and others discuss the process of adapting the book for the screen, the tenets of the story, the rewarding parts of bringing this to the screen and more. 
  • Jane Harper’s Day On Set: A nearly three-minute piece which details the cameo that author Jane Harper makes in the film along with insights into the process of writing that scene in the first place. 
  • Two Timelines: A four-minute featurette on the process of interweaving the two timelines of the film and how important that is to the overall narrative. 
  • Falk and Gretchen: A two-minute piece looking at the character dynamics between these two main characters and the history that follows them from their youth. 
  • Filming In The Wimmera Region: A three-minute look at the benefit of filming on location and the landscape that plays so deeply into the DNA of this story. 


Final Thoughts

The Dry is an effective mystery that slowly unravels to reveal a scenario that has you gripping your seat. There is an underlying tension throughout which makes you question how much trust we should be putting into our protagonist. Eric Bana does a marvelous job of anchoring the film as he simultaneously reminds you that Hollywood has not been using him correctly for a number of years. Bana can be a star when given the right material, and the rest of the ensemble match him in his prowess. RLJE Films has released a Blu-Ray featuring a terrific A/V presentation and a decent array of brief special features. If you are looking for a gripping mystery that does not feel the need to be expanded into series length, give this one a shot. Recommended 

The Dry is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD.

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: RLJE Films has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.