Another gem brought to my attention by the History Buffs YouTube channel. Directed by Peter Weir and adapted from nautical historical novels by Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander unfortunately didn’t make enough money to become a series, which is a shame. Maybe the long unwieldy name put people off; as far as terrible film titles go it’s no Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War, but unless you’re a fan of the books it doesn’t really sound like an exciting proposition, which is probably why I skipped the theatrical release myself.
Wonderful Peter Weir film starring Harrison Ford that’s part thriller, part fish-out-of-water story about culture clash and part romance. While the thriller element is just okay if slickly made, it’s really there to explore an unusual setting and a growing connection between a man and a woman from two very different worlds. The only bad thing I could say about it is the dated 80s soundtrack, but it’s a small nitpick.
It can be hard to make a story about an unexplained mystery feel dramatically satisfying, yet Peter Weir’s haunting, mesmerising, and utterly singular early film manages just that. It tells of the strange disappearance of three private schoolgirls and their teacher on a Valentine’s Day in 1900, during a day out at the Hanging Rock in Macedon Ranges, and the reverberating impact it has on the school and the local community.