Movie Review: Australia
Australia. A movie with a name like that creates expectations. I was not dissapointed largely. In essence it was about how the awesomeness of the land makes people fall in love within it and with it. It was primarily a story about the aboriginal people and secondary love story within. The movie was set during the war where presumely Australia was just discovering itself. The director protrayed Australia in the very setting which made me fall in love with it. The iconic and picturesque scene of the farmhouse sitting in the the big vast dry bush land with nothing but the unforgiving Australian sun in the sky.The dirty sweaty Australia where aboriginals cohabit the land with post convict white men at an uneasy time. It makes the bush seem like such a romantic, exotic and yet exciting place at the same time, where adventures are a part of life. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are just natural at thier Australian best. Hugh portrayed himself so well as the typical Aussie chavaunistic cowboy bloke. Rugged, unshaven, tough. Dialouge was unbashedly aussie with certain slangs and names that only the Asussie would understand, such as 'crikey' and 'billabong'.
I think people may have trouble understanding the bits about the mysterious aboriginals and the stolen generation. Unless you are Australian, you will never understand why it was such a big thing back then.
It is a big movie and thats how a big movie should be filmed. Lots of scenery, subplots that span a few years, and epic fighting scenes. The scenes where Hugh and Nicole escorted the hundreds of cattle over the dessert were simply classic.
The director chose not to showcase over touristy trademarks like the greeting 'Gdday mate' and the digeridu instrument. Instead of being crocodile duneeish, the lead character here was that of the Australian drover (cowboy).
One interesting detail was the inclusion of the Chinese servant (his name was Sing Song, presumely named after his Cantonese accent, which felt like he was singing song). Most people have the impression that Chinese immigrants only started flooding into Australia during the 80s migration boom. In actual fact during the prewar years around 1920s many Chinese already started streaming in to Australia for the gold rush. Of course they always end up being the servant or opening Chinese restaurants.
All in all its a beaut of a movie for those truly interested in the Aussie culture and history. The director who is Australian is the same talented director for Moulin Rouge and his trademarks of the 'musical' are in the movie.