Written and directed by Murali K. Thalluri in his first feature film, this Australian independent production is thought-provoking and deep. Set in a high school, 2:37 tells the story of six students whose lives all intertwine. Each of them have their own troubles, and ultimately, as we find out in the flash-forward opening scene, someone will be driven to suicide at 2:37pm that day.
A lot of issues are dealt with in the film, including eating disorders, sexuality, teen pregnancy, incest, rape and of course suicide. This film will make you think. It is a story with a moral, although I cannot reveal the moral without ruining the ending. 2:37 is representative of what life as a teenager can really be like. Although there are some rather extreme storylines, they are shown in a way which makes them believable, meaning you can really empathise with the characters.
It is difficult to believe that Thalluri was only nineteen when he wrote and directed this film, as it is extremely mature and gives the impression of experience. The style is somewhat reminiscent of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant in that there are many long tracking scenes and the same moments are shown from multiple points of view. However, 2:37 is better at holding an audience’s attention than Elephant. The constant tension and desire for answers keeps you interested throughout. The action is also punctuated with video interviews with the main characters which allow you to get a deeper view of their lives. This is a particularly effective device towards the end of the film.
The climax of 2:37 is shocking both in the revelation it brings, and in the graphic way in which the suicide is depicted. Not for the faint-hearted, this film will leave you gasping. There are many outstanding performances from unknown actors which complement the profoundness of the script and the professionalism of the style perfectly. I recommend this film for everyone over sixteen because it is unforgettable, and teaches an invaluable lesson.