Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Murali K. Thalluri|
|Produced by||Kent Smith|
Murali K. Thalluri
Nick Remy Matthews
|Written by||Murali K. Thalluri|
|Music by||Mark Tschanz|
|Cinematography||Nick Remy Matthews|
|Edited by||Dale Roberts|
Murali K. Thalluri
Nick Remy Matthews
|Distributed by||Roadshow Entertainment|
|Box office||A$447,290 (Australia)|
2:37 is a 2006 Australian drama film, written, produced, and directed by filmmaker Murali K. Thalluri and starring an ensemble cast including Teresa Palmer, Joel Mackenzie, Frank Sweet, Charles Baird, Sam Harris, Marni Spillane and Clementine Mellor. 2:37 was filmed in Adelaide, Australia on location at St. Ignatius' College. The story is narrated by six high school students whose lives are interwoven; each of whom has their own personal problems and goals. The story takes place during a normal school day where, at precisely 2:37, a tragedy will occur.
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A student hears the sound of someone falling within the disabled bathroom, and alerts a teacher. They notice blood running out from under the door.
Marcus is an intelligent student who aspires to please his parents, particularly his father. He hopes to be successful like his father. Marcus is a skilled classical musician. Melody, his sister, is an attractive girl with evident symptoms of depression. Melody, unlike her brother, is never supported by her parents and has a broken relationship with her father.
Luke is an attractive, athletic sportsman who aspires to be a premier league soccer player. He is popular at school, though he does not perform well academically. His girlfriend, Sarah, is madly in love with Luke. Sarah is attractive, although she struggles with an eating disorder. Luke has a close relationship with Melody, with whom he grew up. Sean is a dopehead and social outcast, mostly as a result of him being homosexual. Sean is teased by other students, particularly by Luke and his friends.
Steven, is a soccer fanatic who recently moved to Australia from England. Steven has one leg longer than the other, causing him to have an obvious limp; he was also born with two urethras, often resulting in him wetting himself.
At school Melody meets Luke, and Marcus goes to the music room where he begins playing classical music. He is joined by his friend Kelly, who congratulates him on a well written creative story he wrote in English. After Kelly inquires into the story, Marcus abruptly leaves.
Luke is shown bullying other students or discussing sexual fantasies with his friends. Melody shies away from personal questions about her family, Sarah discusses how madly in love she is with her friend, Steven is forced to change his pants after wetting himself in class, Sean is gravely frustrated with anti-accepting views towards homosexuality, and it is evident that his sexuality is not a secret and Marcus is confronted by his English teacher about some disturbing content of his English story.
Melody takes a pregnancy test in the bathroom, which turns out to be positive. As she exits, Sarah, who was in the bathroom throwing up, sees she is holding the pregnancy test and assumes that Luke has slept around, and blames Melody. Sarah tells her friends about what she saw. Meanwhile Luke is playing soccer and Steven is watching from afar describing his dreams about being a soccer player. Marcus receives his results for chemistry (87%) and is very upset because he didn’t achieve his desired 90%. He is infuriated after he confronts his teacher about this, who explains that there is nothing she can do.
Steven wets his pants again and, because he had only one set of spare clothing, he waits it out in a stall for the stain to dry. Sean sees the school counselor and shares his parents’ unhappiness about his sexual orientation. After the session, Sean hides in the janitor’s room smoking weed; meanwhile, Luke has sex with Sarah.
Luke is confronted by Sean about why he doesn’t speak to him in public. Sean kisses Luke who kisses him back, before he gets angry with himself and yells at Sean. Sean is angry with Luke for not coming out and storms out. The event is overheard by Steven, who is in the stall; out of rage Luke smashes a bathroom door, sees Steven and punches him in the nose and threatens him if he mentions anything. While exiting the bathroom with a bloody nose, Steven is comforted by Kelly who offers him a tissue to clean up the blood. Meanwhile in the library, in order to find out more information, one of Sarah’s friends approaches Marcus and ‘lets it slip’ that his sister is pregnant. Marcus is furious, and it is then revealed in a flashback that Marcus raped his sister while his parents were away. Marcus storms out to find Melody, yells and shoves her asking if it's true. Kelly witnesses Marcus yelling at his sister.
It is then revealed that it was Kelly who committed suicide. She slits her wrist with a pair of scissors and sits sobbing in her blood until she dies. Each of the characters comments on Kelly. Luke says "sometimes we get wrapped up in our own problems that we don’t notice others". Sean contemplates the afterlife; Sarah is upset that the last time she spoke to Kelly was ten years ago. Steven says that he will miss her because she was his friend; Melody notes that Kelly was lucky for having left this world; and Marcus, who it seems was very close friends with Kelly, is frustrated that she didn’t mention anything.
- Teresa Palmer as Melody
- Frank Sweet as Marcus
- Sam Harris as Luke
- Charles Baird as Steven
- Joel Mackenzie as Sean
- Marni Spillane as Sarah
- Clementine Mellor as Kelly
- Sarah Hudson as Julz
- Gary Sweet as Mr. Darcy
- Amy Schapel as Lacey
- Xavier Samuel as Theo
- Chris Olver as Tom
The director says he was inspired to make the film by a suicide of a friend and his own suicide attempt.
The film encountered early commercial success, generating more than three times its production costs in distribution sales. Another victory for the film was a 17-minute standing ovation at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
Critics and audiences were divided in their reaction, particularly regarding the graphic teenage suicide scene at the end of the film and a rape scene between a brother and a young sister. Some mental health groups described the film as "dangerous", with concerns that it will lead to copycat suicides. Variety's Justin Chang has described it as "A queasy exploitation picture masquerading as a serious dramatic treatment of teen suicide". Preview screenings reportedly led to some audience members walking out or fainting in response to the graphic rape and suicide scenes. Other critics complained that the film is too similar to Gus Van Sant's 2003 film Elephant.
However, some critics praised the movie. Urban Cinefile calls it "a stunning debut" for Thalluri, who made the film at the age of 20. The Age's Tracee Hutchison described the film as "beautiful," saying that it "should be screened to year 11 and 12 students in every high school", although the film's R18+ rating in Australia means that this cannot legally occur. The film's rating has been very disappointing for Thalluri, who has been quoted as being "gutted" that the intended audience of young teenagers will not have the opportunity to view the film. Thalluri has stated that the purpose of the suicide scene was to depict the suffering and regret of the suicide victim, and to dispel any implication that the act of suicide is easy or simple.
Further controversy has arisen around Thalluri's claims that the movie was written about a friend Kelly Mason, who sent him a video suicide note before taking her life. Investigations by The Australian questioned the existence of Thalluri's friend, as well as other statements he has made about events in his own life which led to the film's creation. His cousin Ann has publicly defended his story and Thalluri himself called the claims "offensive", "rude" and "ridiculous".
2:37 grossed $447,290 at the box office in Australia.
- 2006 – France – Cannes Film Festival
- 2006 – Canada – Toronto International Film Festival
- 2006 – Australia – Melbourne International Film Festival (Opening Night Selection)
- 2006 – Japan – Tokyo International Film Festival
- 2006 – United States – AFI Film Festival (American Film Institute Festival)
- 2006 – India – Osians International Film Festival
- 2006 – Greece – Thessaloniki International Film Festival
- 2007 – Turkey – International Istanbul Film Festival
- 2007 – United States – Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
- 2006 Cannes Film Festival: Un Certain Regard (Murali K. Thalluri).
- 2006 Australian Film Institute Awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Teresa Palmer), AFI Young Actor Award (Frank Sweet).
- Andrew L Urban, "THALLURI, MURALI K. – 2:37", Urban Cinefilem 17 August 2006 accessed 4 December 2012
- Choose life Sydney Morning Herald. 11 August 2006.
- Graphic movie suicide "a risk" The Age. 26 July 2006.
- Chang, Justin (26 May 2006). "2:37". Variety.
- Thalluri's 2:37 'too much like Elephant' Archived 9 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine Ninemsn. 28 May 2006.
- 2:37 Urban Cinefile.
- R rating shackles, not protects, teenagers The Age. 29 July 2006.
- On and up for philanthropic director Archived 9 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine Ninemsn. 31 July 2006.
- A violent change of direction The Sydney Morning Herald. 26–27 August 2006.
- Director's suicide claim 'fiction' Archived 22 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine The Australian. 19 August 2006.
- A letter of support The Adelaide Advertiser. 24 August 2006.
- "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Festival de Cannes: 2:37". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 16 December 2009.