The Night the Prowler
The Night The Prowler is an Australian film written by Patrick White and directed by Jim Sharman. The film describes suburban life, which has permanent flaws characterized by an unappealing subdivision. Prowler reserves its admiration for unobtrusive predictability, inviting its audience to discover something deeper in the tininess of routine happenings. Apart from portraying suburban life, the characters in the film play gendered roles.
Prowler portrays the ordinary day-to-day activities of the suburban life. The movie is a fierce sarcasm on the psychoneuroses of Sydney’s eastern environs, the place where White lives. Most of the sarcasm borders on diatribe, which makes the film to receive criticism for being cumbersome, pretentious and arrogant. This is evident from the unemotional scenes reflected in the barrenness of the cityscape.
In the film, men characters appear to be responsible for supporting their families. Doris is extremely proud because her daughter (Felicity) got engaged to John who is a clean-cut man. Doris knows that John is particularly keen on climbing the bureaucratic ladder; therefore, her daughter will have a bright future after getting married. Women characters in the movie do not have the freedom of choice and independence. Although Felicity is in her mid-twenties, she receives close protection from her parents. As a result, she is not free to make her own choices. It is only after an encounter with the prowler that she starts to discover her own self.
The Night The Prowler is a classic movie which unpretentiously portrays suburban life. The directors achieve their mission by using a barren background of the city landscape. The film also highlights the particular roles each gender is expected to play in society. Consequently, the themes of suburban life and gendered roles remain etched in the minds of the viewers, after watching the film.
McCann, A. (1998). Writing the everyday: Australian literature and the limits of suburbia. Brisbane: University of Queensland Press .