With his dark good looks and smoldering screen presence, Alex Dimitriades earned plaudits for his turn as a teenaged rebel who engages in an affair with a teacher in the Australian film "The Heartbrea...
October 25, 2002 1:51pm EST
Captain Sean Murphy (Gabriel Byrne) leads a salvage team of five people aboard the tugboat Arctic Warrior with Maureen (Julianna Margulies) as something of a second in command. At a bar one night the crew is approached by a Canadian Air Force pilot (Desmond Harrington) who while monitoring icebergs in the Bering Sea spotted a mysterious vessel. He offers to divulge its location for a cut of whatever it's worth. What the crew finds are the decaying remains of the Antonio Graza an Italian cruise ship thought to be lost at sea for more than 40 years. While scavenging the vessel for valuables the salvage team discovers that something horrendous happened on board four decades ago. To make matters worse the crew starts seeing ghosts including a little girl named Katie (Emily Browning) who warns them to get off the ship before it's too late. Let's just say that the plot involves something about a ghost tricking people into boarding the ship in order to amass a certain amount of souls and complete a mission of sorts. Don't be surprised if you find yourself scratching your head when the ghost's true intentions are revealed--the film leaves many questions unanswered.
Former ER star Margulies (Dinosaur) shares the lead here with Byrne (End of Days) and the most refreshing thing of all is that there is no romance between the two characters. Maureen is a tough and independent woman who has no qualms about living at sea with a bunch of grubby men and Margulies portrays that well. We are told that Maureen and Byrne's character Murphy have a father-daughter-type relationship but that is not explored on screen. While Byrne plays a convincing rugged sea captain his character is never delved into and is dismissed rather abruptly. In fact that is the biggest problem with most of the actors and their characters; they are more like slightly more developed extras brought in to become victims rather than the film's protagonists. Harrington's (We Were Soldiers) character Jack is not as glazed over as the others and the actor conveys the different sides of his personality well enough. The rest of the crew including Ron Eldard as Dodge Isaiah Washington as First Mate Greer Alex Dimitriades as Santos and Karl Urban as Munder do the best they could with the flat and disposable characters they are given.
Ghost Ship opens up with a fantastic scene that involves hundreds of crewmembers and passengers getting dismembered by a high tension wire that slices across the boats main deck. Too bad it's so implausible because unless the wire was lined with razor blades all those bodies wouldn't have been severed so neatly. The massacre is set aboard the Antonio Graza back in 1962 when cruises were still considered a luxury. But when the film zips back to present day it becomes less imaginative and director Steve Beck (Thirteen Ghosts) dips into the old haunted-stories bag o' tricks including ghost reflections in mirrors. But while the gags are a little worn they still scare and are constant enough to keep the film from lagging. The film comes in under 90 minutes which isn't short enough to graze over some of the story's plot holes. The characters for example jump in and out of the icy Bering Sea without the slightest quiver even though their survival time in the 45-degree waters would be measured in minutes. And if Ghost Ship sounds familiar that's because it was made in 1997 and called Event Horizon except that rescue mission was set in the year 2047 aboard a space ship.
Breakthrough screen role as a young gay man of Greek decent in "Head On"
Made TV series debut in the Austrial show "Heartbreak High"
Acted in the Australian film "The Heartbreak Kid"
Co-starred in the controversial Australian miniseries "Blue Murder" about police corruption in New South Wales in 1980s Australia; not aired in New South Wales until 2001
Acted in the features "La Spagnola" and "Let's Get Skase"
Raised in Earlwood, a suburb of Sydney
Made guest appearances on the popular Aussie serial "Neighbours"
With his dark good looks and smoldering screen presence, Alex Dimitriades earned plaudits for his turn as a teenaged rebel who engages in an affair with a teacher in the Australian film "The Heartbreak Kid" (1993). The rising actor further honed his craft with roles on the Australian serials "Heartbreak High" (as a ) and "Neighbours", in addition to the crime dramas "Blue Murder" (1995) and "Wildside" (1998). Dimitriades' international reputation was secured with his critically-applauded portrayal of a troubled youth coping with his immigrant Greek parents and his burgeoning homosexuality in "Head On" (1998). Onscreen for virtually the entire film, the charismatic actor etched a memorable portrait of a hedonist who seemingly lives only for drugs and sex in a role that announced the birth of a new star from Down Under.
Sydney Technical High School
Kingsgrove North School
"This was definitely a step away from convention. After all, you've got a fucking gay character who refuses to also be associated with THOSE cliches. Therefore, you've got two levels there which we were working on, not to mention all those attitudes towards freedom which are, after all, politically and socially, quite rebellious." --Alex Dimitriades quoted in URBAN CINEFILE (www.urbancinefile.com.au)