Friday, January 2, 2009

Movie Review of Australia

Australia - 7/10
Directed by Baz Luhrmann
Cast - Nicole Kidman,Hugh Jackman,David Wenham,Brandon Walters

Plot Summary
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

I have not exactly been a fan of Baz Luhrmann's works.I guess its because I am not a fan of musicals and Moulin Rouge! irritated the shit out of me.It also took me a long while to catch Romeo + Juliet because back then,Leo Dicaprio was still a cunt.So when Australia came out,I wasn't really excited about it cause I thought it's gonna be a musical.But after reading a few articles about the movie,I became curious.
With a budget of about 150 million bucks,Baz did the movie,the old fashioned way.Old school,film noir,epic,romance(think of Casablanca).The movie took about 9 months to finish and still had some reshoots in mid 2008.About 1500 wild horses were used for this movie as well.
Initially the late Heath Ledger was supposed to be the male lead in this movie but he backed out to do the Dark Knight(which was a good choice).Russell Crowe took over and he wanted more money out of this,so the studios told him to fuck off and they got Hugh Jackman instead.Now Hugh Jackman has never been a favourite actor of mine in fact the fella cant act for nuts.The only movie I was impressed by his acting was Christopher Nolan's The Prestige.Surprisingly,he was pretty ok in this one.Nicole Kidman on the other hand I felt over exaggerated her acting but then again over exaggerated acting could be required for doing a film like this.It was also a pleasant surprise to see Bryan Brown(of Cocktail fame) who did a decent job as King Carney.The scene stealer is of course the aboriginal kid,Brandon Walters.The boy has the most soulful eyes ever.He was a natural in acting,and it doesn't seem like this is his first time acting.Now I do not know much about the Aboriginal culture but they have a wonderful way of talking in english.And Brandon Walters does it beautifully.He was a very lovable character and the story revolves around him.The worst actor was David Wenham(Faramir of Lord of the Rings),despite him being an Australian,he has a horrible accent and sometimes becomes confused in his character.
Cinematography was beautiful.There are lots of scenes where the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.Camera works was excellent as well,lots of crane shots in it.You can see clearly a lot of money was invested for this.Direction was pretty good.Costume and make up were not so good.There is one scene where u can clearly see the girl who is not Aborigine but has very bad make up on her to make the audience think she is.Silly mistakes like that for a high budget movie is unacceptable.CGI was downright horrible.After making right with so many things,the least you could do was have some decent CGI.Editing could have done abit more as the movie was just too damn long! Almost 3 fucking hours! There are quite a few unnecessary scenes which could have been edited out.

Despite that,I would still recommend the movie for a good bit of escapism and of course Brandon Walters.Worth watching on a weekend.

Best Quotes
Drover: Welcome to Australia!
Nullah: Mrs. Boss! We gotta get those fat cheeky bulls into that big bloody metal ship!

Recommended movies by the director
Romeo + Juliet
Moulin Rouge!

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