DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
IDON’T know if I can assume you know the story of Ray and Peter Mickelberg and what went horribly, horribly wrong in their life, even though it is one of the biggest stories of the past 30 years. It’s of Lindy Chamberlain dimensions. And I hope one day it’s also a big Hollywood film. Or at least someone else here has another crack at it and maybe turns it into something more than just a one-off telemovie that ultimately feels undercooked. The story alone — just an incredible, depressing yarn — warrants it.
I think I will assume not a lot of knowledge. If you followed the Mickelberg case it happened in Perth and the fallout over the years, you’ll know how this show tonight goes. And it does seem to me pretty accurately done. And if you didn’t follow it, you won’t want me ruining it. But basically, there are three brothers, Peter, Ray and Brian (Todd Lasance, Grant Bowler and Josh Quong Tart, recently exMilko from Home And Away, and you’ll be doing well to recognise him) who wind up in jail, and spend the next however many years trying to get out. Shane Bourne and John Batchelor are Don Hancock and Tony Lewandowski, the key police in the case.
These are the main actors, and by main I mean the show’s about them, and they’re on screen almost all night. Each one puts in a very impressive performance. The acting is the highlight here. It’s also a greatlooking production, with a good eye for the period. But the running time may have worked against it, or perhaps the focus was on the wrong things, but I occasionally felt short-changed. And every quiet moment is filled with music. What’s wrong with silence to build drama and tension? And I can’t bring myself to talk about the narration. The Great Mint Swindle Channel 9, 8.30pm
Key cop: Shane Bourne