What happened to Jeremy King? That is the question that plagues everyone in the Australian drama Wish You Were Here, which is directed by Kieren Darcy-Smith. The movie begins with four friends in Southeast Asia having the time of their lives sightseeing, shopping, drinking and dancing the night away, until something happens. We’re not sure what it is. The only clue is a dazed and shirtless Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, The Great Gatsby) walking back to his hotel, out of breath and afraid.
Married couple Dave, played Edgerton, and Alice Flannery, played by Felicity Price (Home and Away) come back from Cambodia to their two young children, where it is revealed that Jeremy, played by Antony Starr (Banshee) has disappeared without a trace. Alice’s sister Steph, played by Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) has stayed behind to help the authorities find Jeremy. The Flannerys are doing their best to cope with the situation while continuing with their everyday routines. But Dave is jumpy, edgy, nervous. When Steph returns from Cambodia, unsuccessful, frustrated and distraught, she asks if she can stay with Alice and Dave. Her sister agrees but Dave is clearly not okay with it. If anything, his anxiety escalates, with Dave wondering when Steph will be leaving. Things eventually come to a head between Steph, Dave and Alice, starting a chain of events that lead to a revelation that will shock you.
Wish You Were Here is a slow-moving film, but not so much that it doesn’t hold your interest. There’s a lot of ground to cover in this film, and it is covered well. Details begin to unravel about Jeremy’s disappearance in real time and flashbacks of the friends’ holiday. Joel Edgerton does a wonderful job playing Dave, whose fear and paranoia about everything invade his life while slowly breaking him down. Felicity Price, who co-wrote the screenplay, effortlessly takes her character through a range of emotions, . Teresa Palmer’s Steph is an emotional wreck. She cries about Jeremy’s disappearance, among other things. But Steph also has a secret that is eating her up inside, and Palmer’s portrayal is a believable one. But the real mystery is Jeremy. Who is he really? Antony Starr does a fantastic job of not giving away too much about Jeremy, which adds to the mystery of his disappearance. Suspicion falls on everyone, including Jeremy himself, so much so that when the question is finally answered, it throws you for a loop.
eONE Films will release Wish You Were Here June 7, 2013.