There's a moment in Stan original film Gold where Zac Efron touches his blistering, sunburnt neck.
At this point, Efron's character - known only in the credits as Man One - has been living amongst the brutal, intense elements of the desert for several days. He's injured, burned and very, very dirty. There are scorpions and wild dogs, and that big, inescapable burning ball in the sky threatening him every second of the day.
"I can handle it," he says throughout the film. When he touches his frying neck, you realise you don't believe him.
Watch: The trailer for Stan Original Film Gold. Post continues below video.
Gold is Efron's first Aussie production. It centres around his character, who travels with Man Two (Anthony Hayes) through the desert, where they stumble across an enormous nugget of gold. It's so big they cannot possibly excavate it with their bare hands, so Hayes' character heads out to get bigger machinery, leaving Man One alone in the elements to guard their treasure.
Here, alone, he struggles against nature and loses grip on his sanity.
The film is full of ambiguity. Viewers aren't given details about the setting or any context about what is going on in the world, besides the fact that it's... not great. The characters have different accents and go nameless, because in brutal nature like this, it doesn't really matter who you are.
As you watch Gold, you'll find yourself asking a lot of questions.
What would you do if you found gold like this? Would you rather be the one to stay or head back to town? Why doesn't Efron put his hat back on? No seriously, mate, WHY ARE YOU NOT COVERING YOUR NECK? Plus, the biggest question of all: what are you willing to lose to gain a fortune?
Efron's Man One is alone on camera for most of the film. There's limited dialogue, so Efron's physical acting does much of the heavy lifting, both physically and metaphorically, as he makes complex choices in his quest to survive.