Jindabyne was marketed as the latest in an eerie genre that's more familiar to Aussie audiences than their overseas counterparts. In these films, inspired in part by native legend, the Australian topography itself has a mystical power that's responsible for a variety of disquieting occurrences. But Jindabyne is much more earthbound than it appears. Director Ray Lawrence uses the film's central murder less as a dictator of tone than as an entry point to exploring the social repercussions of that murder. And here's where the film finds a true originality, resting its gaze on a handful of "suspects" who are guilty of a crime for which there is no legal punishment (except on the series finale of Seinfeld): indifference. The viewer watches as the four fishing buddies reach a fairly innocuous conclusion about why they should wait to report the body, a rationalization along the lines of "she'll still be dead on Monday." Little do they realize the ways this decision will haunt them, and Lawrence follows those snowballing consequences down logical, interesting, and heretofore unconsidered paths. Where Jindabyne goes a bit astray is by trying to invest the same level of gravitas in its subplots, particularly the one involving Laura Linney's American wife to Gabriel Byrne's de facto trip leader. Without a stronger connection to the main story, and with too gradual an explanation for her erratic behavior, Linney's character arc seems like it's out to hijack the narrative. But this is a relatively small complaint amid numerous strengths, including themes that burrow to the very heart of the strained relationship between the native Aboriginal population and Australia's white ruling class. Viewers should expect nothing less of Lawrence, whose Lantana also maturely dissected human weaknesses of both the overt and covert variety.