This is a movie of epic proportions, on two counts, firstly it is a grand movie with sprawling vistas and a mini historical view of Australia at a tumultuous time.
Secondly, it is really quite long. At 163 minutes, it stands as long if not longer than one of the LOTR installments and could have been made into 2 movies.
This movie is kind of like Out of Africa plus a bit of Jewel of the Nile plus Pearl Harbor plus Rabbit Proof Fence, all rolled into one, so I guess that may explain why it was such a long movie. They choose two of Australia’s current hottest two leads, Nicole Kidman as a lady of royalty and used to fine ways from UK, and Hugh Jackman as the rough and tumble man of the bush. Oh then I should also add Crocodile Dundee as another movie from which it draws its inspiration of a contrast of two people who come from different backgrounds and are forced to survive together.
There are elements of action, humor, history and of course a sizzling romance all mashed together with a cowboy cum Rawhide theme. Strongly featured in a politically correct nod to PM Kevin Rudd’s apology to the lost generation of Aboriginal children, the Aborigines are offered a starring role in a positive light, quite contrary to many traditional roles they have suffered over the years. The pair of hot stars try their best to serve up the mixture, and there is genuine chemistry between the ever so slender Nicole and she looks perfect in the role of an apparently withering gentry from UK who makes it good as a tough lady with hot passion for her man. Jackman also tries to fill a role where he is required to act, and his good looks go a long way to helping his rather boy scout and eager beaver style, and I reckon many a woman would have swooned at his entrance into the dance hall, all shaven and decked out in a white tuxedo. A young Aboriginal boy with lovely eyes kept pace with the two leads in the show. They were milking quite a few scenes for Oscars I must say…
At the end of the day, the length was a little too much and I found myself fiddling in my seat a tad too often, and if I am looking at my watch, that’s no too good too. I enjoyed the scenery of the Northern Territories, with lots of vistas which entice me to make a trip Down Under to Top side. The NT tourist board must be gleefully wringing their hands at the expected inflow of tourists after this, and I know they won’t be disappointed at the beauty of the land. However, trying to include too much, adding so many elements, and borrowing a little too much from other movies spoils it a bit. You feel a sense of de jevu with certain scenes and although the CGI and sound engineers worked overtime to execute the scenes, some more aggressive editing and cutting would have benefitted the pace and mood of the movie.
At the end of the day, the Aussie audience would be quite pleased, and so would those who have not seen NT, but it may pale in comparison to some other movies made this year. For me, I enjoyed the mixture of action, comedy and romance, and of course the occasion and company helped too…
PS: I notice the Oz version has some different scenes from the overseas releases.
A renter at least.
Edited by petetherock, 25 December 2008 - 11:09 AM.