By John Corrado
★★★ (out of 4)
Director Justin Kurzel’s film Nitram follows in the footsteps of Paul Greengrass’s 22 July, Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique and Gus van Sant’s Elephant (a fictionalized take on Columbine), as a film that dramatizes a real life mass shooting.
In the case of Kurzel’s film, it dramatizes the events surrounding the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in 1996, which prompted Australia to completely overhaul its gun laws, and mainly serves as a slow-burn character study of the perpetrator, Martin Bryant.
Caleb Landry Jones, who won the Best Actor prize last year at Cannes for the role, delivers a chilling performance in the film as a stand-in for Bryant. The title of the film is Martin backwards, a cruel nickname that kids at school used to call him, and the only way the shooter is referred to onscreen.
Nitram is a young man struggling with…
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