After seeing Guy Pearce act in so many films, I'm only just starting to realise how much I like watching him work. He is as consistent as ever in 33 Postcards, giving a haunted, vulnerable performance as convict Dean. I was far less impressed with Zhu Lin as Mei Mei, who initially seemed like a bit of a caricature, but she won me over eventually when showing some emotional range. More
Dean is initially dismissive of a relationship with Mei Mei, but his resolve soon crumbles and we (and she) get to know him better, including the somewhat hamfisted reveal of how he got locked up.
Mei Mei also starts to muck around with Carl, a frosted tip bro who seems like he's just moved out of Summer Bay, and who works in a a garage while harboring dreams of becoming a chef.
When 33 Postcards started I worried that it was going to be like one of those after-school morality tale films from my childhood. It pretty much is, but the moral wasn't what I expected: rather than a lesson about international differences, we get one about how crime doesn't pay.
Dean's looming parole creates a ticking clock for the film, although its resolution is too timid to create any real impact, and totally fumbles an overly saccharine finale. 33 Postcards benefits from Pearce's performance and some restrained direction, but ultimately it's just there, a bit bland and easily forgotten. Hide