Bali 2002 Review

Bali 2002 Review

This weekend, Stan unveils its next highly-anticipated original drama in the form of Bali 2002.

When Bali 2002 opens, we meet Ni Luh (Sri Ayu Jati Kartika) who explains to us that good and evil are balanced: “Bali? Nothing could happen here.”

We soon meet a range of different people: there’s Polly Miller (Claudia Jesse) who is on her honeymoon from the UK after marrying Dan (Paul Michael Ayre); Nicole McClane (Elizabeth Cullen) and bestie Natalie Gould (Sophia Forrest) who have just arrived for the adventure of a lifetime; and AFL footballer Jason McCartney (Sean Keenan) who is on an end-of-season trip with the North Melbourne Football Club. These are just a few of the people who would be impacted when two suicide bombs rip through Paddy’s Bar and the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, on the night of 12 October 2002.

Everyone’s lives are changed in an instant, and the four-part miniseries is linked by the story thread of catching the mastermind of the attack. Charged with this task is AFP commander Graham Ashton (Richard Roxburgh), who has to work with Indonesian General I Mangku Pastika (Sirsacd Sacdpraseuth). Helping triage patients at the hospital is Dr Vijith ‘Vij’ Vijayasekaran (Arka Das), who works with Dr Fiona Wood (Rachel Griffiths) in Perth, becoming instrumental in victim’s recovery.

Written by Justin Monjo, Kris Wyld, Marcia Gardner, Michael Toisuta, and Tim Pye, Bali 2002 offers a complete story in 4 episodes, from the victims to the perpetrators, to the locals, on that night 20 years ago. It’s clear from watching the whole series that a whole lot of care has been taken in production with survivors consulted.

The sublime cast listed above are bolstered by the addition of new talent William Lodder and seasoned veteran Rob Carlton, just to name a few.

Even 20 years after that fateful night, Bali 2002 may hit too close to home for some, but it’s a carefully considered piece of drama that is a worthy addition to Stan’s original drama slate.

4.5 Stars

Bali 2002 premieres Sunday 25 September on Stan.