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This telemovie dramatises the latter part of the late Australian mining mogul Lang Hancock’s life, focusing on the relationship triangle with his daughter, Gina, and Rose — first as his housemaid, later as his lover then wife. This epic screenplay traces the deterioration of Lang’s health and the parallel deterioration of his relationship with Gina, who resents and distrusts Rose. The story ends after Lang’s death — which Gina claims was caused by Rose — with the additional conflict between Gina and her three eldest children over the family’s enormous wealth.
Thomson’s portrayal of these real life characters is intriguing and dramatically engaging. The world of the Hancocks is clear and robust, from Gina and Lang’s true home in the Pilbara to the contrast of glitzy Prix D’Amour. Structured chronologically (apart from the teasing pre-credits scene that establishes the emotional battleground), the various story strands are carried forward with pace and tension. Precise dialogue and compelling action are infused with subtle editorial touches. Gina’s heartbreak at the disconnect with her father is honest and emotional. The screenplay is economical yet unsparing in crucial detail: a gripping read and a masterly example of writing for the screen.