After the Waterfall (Simone Horrocks, 2010). Antony Starr is
very good as the bruised dad turned mute and hopeless by the disappearance of
his four-year-old daughter in the Waitakeres (his turf – he’s a park ranger).
Adapting British writer Stephen Blanchard’s novel The Parrafin Child for a
local setting, Simone Horrocks negotiates a Kiwi male language of emotional reticence
so stunted it barely qualifies as communication – first scene: a barbecue; final
line of dialogue: “Good on you, son” – and you could theorise about whether
this is Smash Palace a generation on. Sombre barely covers it.