Run Rabbit Run15
Having only just finished her stint as a member of the highly dysfunctional Roy family in the critically acclaimed Succession, you would think that Sarah Snook, who played Shiv in the HBO series, would allow herself some time off and put her feet up for a bit. But that’s not been the case.
She has already wrapped in the upcoming US comedy drama The Beanie Bubble, as well as star in this psychological thriller, set in her homeland of Australia.
Sarah (Snook) is a busy single mum, holding down a job as a fertility doctor, as well as looking after her seven-year-old daughter Mia (Lily La Torre).
She doesn’t have much by way of family support either, with her father dead, and her mother Joan (Greta Scacchi) living in a home due to her early stages of dementia.
She has a close bond with her daughter, but after her birthday, she starts to notice some changes in her behaviour. For example, she starts to wear a rabbit mask she made, as well as insist on being called Alice; this wouldn’t necessarily be a red flag, but it just so happens to be the name of Sarah’s sister, who disappeared at a very young age.
With her daughter acting strangely, Sarah soon finds her own childhood trauma once again resurfacing.
Making her feature-length directorial debut here is Australian Daina Reid, having made a career of helming a number of episodes of various TV shows including The Handmaid’s Tale and Young Rock.
It’s an impressive debut that certainly delivers deliciously dark tones throughout, with what is essentially an examination of mental health issues.
Snook is believable as the mum with a past, once you get over the fact that she is actually Australian if all you happen to know her from is Succession. It’s a tough gig however, because she happens to star opposite one of those irritatingly young actors, in the form of laTorre, who appears to be completely unfazed by not only the dark material, but her character’s part in it all. So when she shares scenes with Snook, it’s invariably the older actress who comes off second best.
As far as the story is concerned, it takes its sweet time to warm up, where it’s almost treading water for the first half, so it’s a relief that it picks up pace, and interest, for the second half.
It also borrows from themes from the works of a certain Lewis Carroll; the sister who disappeared is called Alice for a reason, and Sarah goes down a mental rabbit hole of her own. And if that wasn’t enough, Reid also throws in an actual pet rabbit for good measure.
And as well as having a strong visual identity, it also sports a super score, which does more than enough to heighten the drama.
With some great performances, and a plot that holds your attention – just, Run Rabbit Run is a solid enough debut, that could have been really quite special with a little more thought.