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Review: Spiritual depth lifts otherwise muddy ‘Hidden Light’

Jack Jovcic in the movie "Hidden Light."
( Indie Rights)

The Aussie crime-thriller “Hidden Light” manages to be an involving ride despite its sometimes murky storytelling and elliptical character connections. Writer-director Aaron Kamp (he also edited) weaves an effective spell of dread as this dark tale of revenge, redemption and emotional unraveling unfolds.

When real estate agent Jacob (Jeremy Levi) comes home from work to find his unfaithful wife, Anne, dead of a drug overdose, guilt and anger overtake his common sense and he sets off on a risky search for answers about her demise. (There are cops around but they feel tangential.)

Jacob’s hunt links him to the burly Jovan (Jack Jovcic), a Serbian Orthodox priest and former mob enforcer with a dying mother (Lis Hoffmann); and Drago (Troy Coward), a conflicted drug dealer with a pregnant girlfriend (Vivienne Marshall) and a ruthless boss (Jag Pannu, an executive producer here).

The film’s disparate pieces ultimately converge in a mostly credible and satisfying way, though we learn so little about the one-note Jacob’s clearly troubled marriage or Anne herself, that it limits our understanding of his obsessive actions and our sympathy for his plight. How lounge singer Amber (Sharnya Thomson) figures into Jacob’s past also gets short shrift.

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On the other hand, the movie’s approach to Jovan’s ethical, moral and spiritual dilemma — and the eventual path he chooses — gives this low-budget effort some meaningful heft.

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‘Hidden Light’

Not rated.

Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood

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