Saturday, November 29, 2008

Movies we've seen - 'Australia'.

Went and saw the film 'Australia' this afternoon, we wanted to see if it lived up to the hype and it's budget.

The short way to to put it is that if Baz Luhrmann wanted it to be a blockbuster epic (with a message) that will be a rival to 'Gone with the Wind', it falls short.

The scenery was great, the plot quite good, the actors did a good job (both lead and supporting). Things went bad however, when Luhrmann inserted his 'message', and that message was heavily worked on from beginning to end. The message was his view on what is called the 'Stolen Generations'. I felt like I was being preached at.
Since it was part of his storyline, read more about 'the Stolen Generations' here (Wikipedia).
(Of interest, the same problems that drove that policy, is being addressed in the Northern Territory these days by a set of laws collectively called 'the Intervention'. Which suggests there's more to the problem than Luhrmann lets on?).
The treatment of Aboriginal Australians was portrayed in the worst light possible. And that is not the only way the movie goes too far. It's a bit too 'TryHard' in many places - to the point that if you wanted to parody parts of it - you couldn't do any better than it does itself.

Entertaining, pity about the preaching. Worth seeing, but I'd wait until you can get it on DVD at a discount if I were you. Non Australians might find the cliched Ocker aspect entertaining.

3 1/2 out of 5.

[Update 6Dec08 - Another review - by a scriptwriter - here.]

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