Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"There's a primal terror underlying what we see."

In Kate Lefoe's taut little mystery, we are plunged straight into the action. It's a bright, sunny day. Two women leave their car and run, laughing, into the trees. They are ready to enjoy a day of splashing around in the water and sunning themselves on the shore. There's also a dare involved. Are they both ready to leap into the water from the top of a small cliff?

The setting is idyllic. Light glances brightly off the leaves. Lefoe's camera, at first hurtling through them, slows to take in these scenes at leisure. Young love feels timeless. But then something inexplicable happens, leaving the audience desperately grasping for answers.

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Perhaps because it's so vast in comparison to its population, perhaps because it was settled relatively late in human prehistory, there remains something unknowable about Australia. It's also a place thick with myth, both ancient and modern. All of this echoes through the void that opens up at the heart of Plunge. It invites viewers, for all that they might appreciate the film on a metaphorical level, to search for different kinds of answer. There's a primal terror underlying what we see, perhaps not inherently unlike the terror sometimes felt at the thought of taking a different kind of plunge.

There's something else, too. The simplicity of the behaviour that follows doesn't quite seem right. You will ask yourself if you would behave in the same way, or if you would do more, try harder, to retrieve what has been lost, to go back to the way things were.

A haunting little film no matter how one looks at it, Plunge makes the water look lovely but there are dangerous currents not far beneath the surface.

Reviewed on: 21 Jul 2017
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Two women go into the countryside together to have fun in a lake, but then something inexplicable happens.

Director: Kate Lefoe

Writer: Kate Lefoe

Starring: Jeni Bezuidenhout, Juliet Hindmarsh

Year: 2015

Runtime: 6 minutes

Country: Australia


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