The Royal Hotel

The Royal Hotel
The Royal Hotel
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Misogyny and sexual aggression from hostile patrons at a bar in remote Australia are confronted by two American tourists who work to sustain their travels. Each minute, The Royal Hotel becomes less senseful. Supposedly “best friends” with each other the young women have opposite views on a clearly dangerous situation. They argue about the question of self-preservation, which should not be argued about. I did not buy the premise or their reactions. There are some good moments in this thriller but it is far from being plausible. It also stereotypes Australian men as dangerous sexist perverts and drunken oafs.

A.A breeze whips up through Sydney’s party boat where Liv (Jessica Henwick) dances feverishly.B.She flirts with the cute bartender when she orders another drink.C.Meanwhile, on the deck, Hanna (Julia Garner) who is a lively girl kisses Torsten (Herbert Nordrum), a random Swedish guy that she had just met.D.They shout as the boat goes under a bridge near Sydney’s famous opera house.E.The merriment stops when Liv informs Hanna that she is out of money.

They’re sitting at customer service desk inside work for travel office.Well, since they can’t afford to stay in country anymore, Hana and Liv joke that they are Canadians and avoid negative American stigma but what will happen if there is no more fun?E.The sales agent admits there’s only one job available which isn’t so great.F.The Royal Hotel needs new bartenders for those already present girls.G.It mainly serves miners and farmers living in rural areas.H.That means they must develop thick skin.I.Liv does not want to go back home but Hana has her doubts.K.Why stop now? Take them back to their dull lives?

Then suddenly Hanna and Liv find themselves standing off an empty bus on an unpaved road in the middle of nowhere.J.Carol (Ursula Yovich) picked them up but she does not answer their questions.J.Hanna looks ill at ease as they approach The Royal Hotel.F.The bar has jars of dead snakes.G.Upstairs in their room, the current staff girls are drunk and passed out.H.When Hanna wants to go to the shower, Billy (Hugo Weaving), Carol’s boyfriend who is just as intoxicated screams at her.I.She doesn’t like it when he calls her a detestable C-word.

Their first night on the job is a string of profanities and heckling.K.The miners are overjoyed with their new targets.N.The good-looking yet mischievous Matty (Toby Wallace) instantly likes Hanna.Liv is a shy person with Teeth (James Frecheville) that concentrates his love in an awkward way towards his workmate.T. But it’s Dolly (Daniel Henshall) who causes Hanna to experience chills running down her spine.Q.They observe as old staffs leave with cheers and clapping.Sometime later that night, Hanna locks their room door.X.She is scared when someone comes up the steps and tries the doorknob.

Hanna and Liv might be molested at any time. They tolerate verbal assault, fondling, and pleas to “let go.” Hanna needs to smile and look like she is really interested in being there. In a bid to fit in with those who have been sexist towards her, Liv plays the gender card. All they need is to make enough money and wait for a few weeks before they can afford escape from this place. What appears not to matter though is how terrified and uncomfortable Hanna really is.

Their director/co-writer Kitty Green after working together with Garner on The Assistant subjects them into an impossible situation. If not because of having no other alternative, very few women would work at Royal Hotel. It’s hard to fathom that work placements are given such dangerous assignments by the program itself. By contrast, the previous girls were alcoholics who slept with miners thus; Hanna and Liv are just fresh meat for taking. With every male figure portrayed as likely rapists all through there exists this Neanderthal mentality – ‘they must certainly crave ogling’ or ‘satisfying filthy fantasies.’

Garner and Henwick are talented actresses, so it is rather unfortunate that they often end up being cast as best friends who sleep next to each other when forced into living room floors by poverty or lack of accommodation alternatives. Not like Hanna also has yet to havean attack of fear unlike Liv who accuses her of being too serious about every issue.What happens next are several instances where Liv drinks herself unconscious while Hannah watches over her like a hawk.The only other option would be men waiting for their evil chance in order to pounce on her.Liv’s actions here are totally unrealistic.She has traveled around the world with Hannah.There was no way she could ever take that lightly especially since someone had tried getting into their room.

The Royal Hotel works somewhat on suspension of disbelief.That pill I could not swallow though.Hanna and Liv will be on the bus tomorrow. Everything they do is not rational.Their ties are not those of innocent lambs going to be slaughtered.This is definitely not a movie to encourage Australian tourism.

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