By Peter Maddern
To turn the crime fighting exploits of Perth girl Mary Evans of 80 years ago in Indian films into an OzAsia Festival opening night feature takes skill and courage. Fearless Nadia, through her film Diamond Queen and the composing skills of Ben Walsh, is a night to remember.
The on-screen antics of this burly but beautiful woman is a trip to another place with Nadia packing the punches of far greater force than even those Tony Abbott is accused of. The Diamond Queen story is more than ridiculous and the characters beyond stereotypes but the fun of the fantasy is there in spades.
Walsh’s score does not attempt to run with every on-screen twist and turn, every sinister glare or triumphant hug but rather give the grainy images an underlying pulse. He combines his already formidable skills at producing music for Australian audiences with Indian instruments and artists in his Orkestra of The Underground including Aneesh Pradham on tabla and Sanjeev Shankar on shenai.
As highly as one may judge the score, it is rare to consider an on-stage act of a musician something akin to genius but Shenzo Gregorio’s tumbling trapeze act avec violin as Nadia is swept downstream from a massive waterfall on the screen behind comfortably falls into that category. This moment may always stay with you.
Fun in every dimension, Fearless Nadia is a must see feature of this year’s OzAsia festival.
Kryztoff Rating 4.5K