By Chris dos Santos
11th August 2018

It’s always exciting when a new voice enters the cinematic arena, and debuting his feature-length debut 'Cerulean Blue' at the 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival is Australian director Adrian Ortega.

Alex (Jack Michel) is going on a road trip to reclaim his lost love but plans change when Lily (Senie Priti) highjacks his trip, leading them both on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

Both Michel and Priti have really good chemistry; the way they play off each other is fun to watch. They both also show some real promise as new Australian talent, and I hope this film helps to push their careers further. Priti especially is great as the free-spirited, go-with-the-flow character, but deep down has a lot more to her. She really gets to show a wide range from comedy to drama, and it’s a delight to watch.


'Cerulean Blue' is not only Ortega's directing debut but also his feature writing debut, and like his stars shows real promise as a new voice in Australian film. There are some really beautifully-written conversations about life and love between Alex and Lilly but - and I don’t mean this in a negative way - it does feel like a student film at times. It’s just not quite fully there, and even with its short run time of 72 minutes, it could have been a lot tighter as a short film. While the conversations are well-written, they start to get a bit repetitive; characters talk in the car, they stop somewhere and have another conversation, then return to the car. The film also has a bit of an abrupt ending - in most films, this type of scene would be the act two turning point, but here the film fades out. While an open-ended conclusion can sometimes work quite well, here it feels like the audience gets a little cheated as we don’t get to see the characters' journeys fulfilled.

‘Cerulean Blue’ might not be the smoothest directorial debut but the cast and crew show massive potential, I cant wait to see what other stories this team come up with as I can see them making something quite fantastic in the near future.

‘Cerulean Blue’ might not be the smoothest directorial debut, but the cast and crew show massive potential. I can't wait to see what other stories this team come up with, as I can see them making something quite fantastic in the near future.

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