Thursday, December 18, 2008

Australian “Gone with the Wind”

Many ppl called it “the Australian version of ‘Gone with the Wind’ ”, and it really deserves it.

From a half-Caucasian-half-aboriginal boy’s point of view, the kettle breeding, racial discrimination, and the aboriginal culture are interwoven into a big carpet, which is then put in the WWII era. This really reminds me the cotton plantations and slavery in the South, with the American Civil War as the background. And the Great Plains, ranches and deserts, are just like an Aussie version of Tara. (Actually there IS a county called “Tara” in New South Wales, Australia. Built by Irish ppl, maybe?) The air attack to Darwin, maybe not as “hot” as the burn-down of Atlanta, but it’s much more striking, just like the Pearl Harbor. The “Drover” played by Hugh Jackman, is just a cowboy Rhett Butler; But the “Mrs. Boss” (Lady Ashley) played by Nicole Kidman, looks more like Melanie, instead of Scarlet. At the beginning, when a noble lady first stepped on this semi-civilized continent, she behaved like a proud little cuttie who went to the ball for the first time; but when she needs to fight against the villain Neil Fletcher to protect her ranch, it seems that she is far from capable for that (My Lady, if I were you, when that bastard came to my house alone, just use one single shot, and offer the body to the crocodiles, and that, I believe, is what Scarlet is definitely capable of.).

The part that describes the culture of the aboriginals, esp. the soul songs, is a bit too long. The whole movie lasts for 2 hrs 45 min!

For the two made-in-Australia superstars, there’s nothing much “outstanding” here. Hugh Jackman keeps changing between Wolverine and Leopard, and Nicole Kidman definitely learns a lot from Vivian Leigh (one scene she stands under a big tree in the dusk almost makes me shout out “After all, tomorrow is another day!”…). Her best parts are almost all with the little boy Nullah, esp. the two scenes (farewell and reunion) at the wharf, which show us the true love from a mother. Nice job for David Wenham (he also cooperated with Hugh Jackman in “Van Helsing” before), for the bad guy he portrayed is really sth. that you wanna bomb his head with your own heads. But the biggest surprise of this movie is the aboriginal young actor Brandon Walters, a.k.a., Nullah. Compared to the well-trained Jaden Smith, you have to admit that this freshman for acting really got some genius in this area.

The Tourism Australia is one of the major sponsors of this movie, so you can expect a lot of beautiful views of Australia in it. The sponsorship is definitely successful, because now I have already been craving for another Australian trip, esp. Darwin.

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