Simon Baker in ‘Limbo’ Captures the Essence of Australian Cinema - Hope 103.2

Simon Baker in ‘Limbo’ Captures the Essence of Australian Cinema

Limbo is devastatingly beautiful and will leave audiences pondering the darker corners of humanity, writes Russ Matthews.

By Russell MatthewsFriday 14 Jul 2023MoviesReading Time: 3 minutes

Simon Baker (Breath) is unrecognisable as weathered and broken detective Travis Hurley.

He has been sent to a small outback community among abandoned opal mines to investigate a 20-year-old cold case.

The police officer’s brief is to determine if the case involving the disappearance of a young Aboriginal lady is worth reopening.

Initially, he is met with resistance by the family and local First Nations leadership, but he eventually gains their confidence.

As he deals with his own issues, Travis begins to piece together the history and develops close ties with many within the tight-knit community.

Despite his emotional connections to the family, Travis must determine if there is enough evidence to pursue closure for all involved.

Filmed in shades of black and white, director Ivan Sen (Mystery Road, Beyond Clouds) captures the shades of grey that paint Limbo‘s storylines.

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Sen does more than depict the underlying racism that defines much of this investigation, as he exposes the less-than-appealing layers of society and the human heart.

A shadowed message of delayed justice also is unleashed here by Sen, through his character development and cinematic vision.

The despair and hopelessness of his vision are compelling as it quietly unpacks the vicious underbelly of this all-too-familiar societal narrative.

Leaves audiences pondering darkness and hope

Simon Baker commits to this role to such a degree that he must rely on everything that has not defined his career in the past.

Gone are the looks and charm which have epitomised his roles, and he is allowed to show he has exceptionally well-crafted dramatic chops.

All the while, he is surrounded by commanding performances from Rob Collins, Natasha Wanganeen, and Nicholas Hope that help to slowly peel back the layers of Sen’s confronting tale. One that captures the essence of Australian cinema that lays bare the human soul and our need for justice and closure.

Limbo is devastatingly beautiful and will leave audiences pondering the darker corners of humanity, while looking for the potential hope within the grey of our souls.

Reel Dialogue: Justice

“The Lord loves justice” – Psalm 33:5

How can we trust that justice will be done?

One of the critical themes of Limbo is the question about taking justice into our own hands – or do we wait for the authorities to do the work?

Law enforcement, the judicial system, and even God seem to be questioned on their ability to properly administer justice.

Can we know that justice will prevail in this world?

Thankfully, despite the most desperate situations, there are answers to these questions, and the role of righteous judge has been taken.

Travis Hurley listens to portions of the Bible as he arrives in the small town.

Unlike what we then seen portrayed in Limbo, the influence of God’s word doesn’t need to stop there.

If you are looking for the ultimate definition of justice, the story of Jesus is a great place to start.

If you would like to discuss issues associated with justice, Jesus and the Bible, reach out to us at Third Space. We would love to chat about this and more.


Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.

All images: Movie stills