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March 24, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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3 Mile Limit Review

3 Mile Limit
Directed by Craig Newland
✮✮✮✮☆

The debut feature of director Craig Newland, 3 Mile Limit has made a strong start. It has been officially selected into 11 International Film Festivals, and picked up three awards at the time of print. Based on a true story, familiar to our parents and theirs, but in need of introduction to our generation.

Lead character Richard (Matt Whelan) tells the New Zealand government “all you play is music by dead people”. Exasperated by the lack of variety in radio, he gathers sales executive Alex (Elliot Wrightson), engineer Morrie (James Crompton) and a team of DJs: Nick (Dan Musgrove), Brendon (Carl Dixon), Tim (Daniel Cresswell) and Paul (Jordan Mooney), to make a change.

They decide to form their own independent rock’n’roll station.  A series of conflicts, namely from the New Zealand government, prevents this from happening. The determined crew set out to broadcast from a ship in international waters, outside of the 3-mile limit (hence the name).

The most notable performances are Matt Whelan as Richard and Elliot Wrightson as Alex. Whelan, known from Go Girls and The Most Fun You Can Have Dying, gives a strong portrayal of the leadership and determination shown by the original founder. This is coupled with great anxiety when his dream and relationship with his wife Judy (Belinda Crawley) encounter conflicts. Wrightson gives a powerful and convincing performance as the suave, shrewd sales executive, Alex. He is a match to Whelan’s capability, and proves that he is one to watch in the New Zealand film scene.

3 Mile Limit is reflective of its 1960s time scheme: the furniture is drab, the technology is old-school and the outfits are smooth. The soundtrack (composed by Tom McLeod) is sleek. An eclectic mix that conveys the moods of rebellion, romance and tension. It also includes some New Zealand ‘60s tracks, and adds energy and context to the film.

3 Mile Limit is nostalgic, engaging and important. It appeals to the ideals of rebellion, ingenuity and collective purpose. Scenes of storms, arguments and adventure are contrasted with a romantic sub-plot. It is a film you could enjoy with your friends, or you could take your parents too: should be easy enough to persuade them to shout you a ticket.

 

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