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Review: Aussie drama ‘The Misguided’ lives down to its title

Caleb Galati in the movie "The Misguided."
(Indie Rights)

Sometimes the title tells you everything you need to know. Such is the case with the Australian domestic drama “The Misguided,” written and directed by Shannon Alexander. This listless tale about a pair of dirtbag brothers in Perth features Golden Globe-nominated Katherine Langford (“13 Reasons Why”) in a small supporting role, but she’s barely a factor in this story.

Alexander takes a realist approach to dialogue and performance, but the inexperienced actors lack the screen charisma to pull this off in a compelling way. Jasmine Nibali stars as Sanja, who may be the most misguided character of all. After dumping her drug dealer boyfriend Wendel (Steven J. Mihaljevich), she quickly hooks up with his brother Levi (Caleb Galati) when he rolls into town. When dad disapproves of her choice, she and Levi move in with Wendel and his new lady, with plans to leave town. That escape is thwarted by Wendel’s demons, and the bond of brotherly love.

Nibali and Galati deliver their lines in matching monotones, in scenes that are simply deadening. None of the trio of leads has the presence to carry the film, though Mihaljevich displays a flicker as the dangerous sociopath Wendel. Alexander’s limited style doesn’t help these performances either, nor does the wildly underwritten script. “Misguided” says it all.

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‘The Misguided’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood

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