Hester's three star pupils and a governess have disappeared. Led by a dogged Sergeant, local men search for the missing. Has something supernatural befallen them? Or has a human outrage occurred? An ...
The missing Rothschild heiress, Irma Leopold, has been found, remarkably unharmed, but claiming to remember nothing. Meanwhile, rumors spread and the Sergeant turns his attention to the College. What...
The picnic is all but forgotten in this misguided project
People may not be aware that the novel PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK is very short, just over 200 pages. It works ideally as a 2-hour film but to stretch it out into 6-hours results in a heavily padded and downright dull miniseries. In the first hour, the girls disappear and the filmmakers bungle this key scene. There's no set- up, no sense of dread, so the main focus of the entire project falls flat. And that's in the first hour! For the rest of the miniseries, the characters involved seem more concerned about the girl's school than Hanging Rock. We see the local community searching for the girls, but at the same time, backstories of pretty much every character are introduced. Episodes 3 and 4 add zero to the narrative and you can see the filmmakers are desperate to keep us engaged with some poorly staged jump scares: an animal nailed to the wall! A pile of maggots at one character's feet! But why? No explanation. This is a much harsher PICNIC than Peter Weir's classic film of 1975. At times, the miniseries comes across as LA RESIDENCIA (THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED), the 1970 shocker with Lili Palmer who stars as the headmistress of a nineteenth-century French boarding school for girls. Some girls are whipped, others are slapped...but it isn't until the 5th and 6th episodes that we're reminded girls went missing. Whatever happened to them? Parents come and remove their children from the school and there are more flashbacks and backstories. The women talk about being "free" but that's never explained either. The girls who vanish "take a vow"...to what end? Stretched to the breaking point to six hours, the miniseries tries to answer questions that are never asked and, worst of all, forgets that Hanging Rock is the center of the story, not the school house.
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