Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock ★★★

''People don't sit on cold steps in the dark unless they're soft in the head.''

Not moody enough to be a mood piece.
Not plot driven enough to be engaging.

Picnic at Hanging Rock is an airy period mystery that drags on far too long and stops before it even begins to get interesting.

There are moments of intrigue:
The treatment of the lesbian girl, the ending, the sequences on the rock itself, the parallel wounds, the more mysterious aspects that almost give an alien abduction vibe... they're all super interesting, but ultimately they go nowhere.

And then the film is bogged down by side characters with no personalities and no arcs, taking the film from aimless and dreamlike to downright boring.

I don't have a problem with mysteries that don't have concrete resolutions. The issue with Picnic at Hanging Rock is that the mystery isn't really resolvable.
There's nothing to think about after the film is over. There's no hidden depth to the film. There are no clues left to dissect. you can't think about the mystery and come to your own conclusions because there's not enough depth to the mystery itself.
The film tells you the girls vanished, says 'isn't that mysterious?', and then just ends.

Despite all this though... I kind of vibe with the film.
It's beautiful, and there's a sinister fairytale whimsy running through the whole thing that almost reminds me of Suspiria.
It also reminds me of Don't Look Now in its tone and construction.

Picnic at Hanging Rock isn't bad, it's just nothing special. and that's severely disappointing.

Finny! liked this review