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I noticed a lot of Australians jumping to this film's defence in
earlier postings. Rest easy, Aussies, there are plenty of people
like me who seek Australian films whenever they are available.
This film has the right mix of comedy and sweet-heartedness that
seem to be a trademark of Australian films. My in laws were quite
happy when I returned with "The Castle"
The first time you see this movie, confusion sets in. Then, later, when you're still thinking about how the bug zapper, the "sound of an outboard motor on full throttle" and "serenity" might go hand in hand, you finally laugh. A few days go by and you decide this movie might have something so you watchit again, and sure enough, the damned thing is funny. No not funny, HILARIOUS. Pretty soon you and all your co-workers are quoting lines such as "You're an ideas man, Steve!" and "It's the VIBE!" Watch it a few more times and it hits you, this movie is GENIUS. GENIUS I tell you. The dogs, the "pool-room" Bana as kickboxing Con, Trace and her "proud moments", Dale's hole-digging, Daryl's take on "serenity" and Sal's chicken dinner...all make up a movie that is both a tribute to the modern family as well as the modern King of his Castle.
The Kerrigan family live in a top property at the end of an airport
runway. Dad has endless projects round the house and often stands in
proud amazement at the size of his aerial, the hole that his son dug or
some of the ideas his middle son has had. Mum is a great cook that can
do a sponge cake as easy as seasoned chicken. Wayne is in prison, Steve
is an apprentice mechanic and an ideas man, while Dale is just plain
happy with his simple family life. However, when a compulsory purchase
order comes through the post, the family find that they are being
forced to sell up to make room for an extension of the airport.
Shot in less than two weeks because that is all they could afford to do, this comedy is a delightfully gentle comedy that draws laughs from the Kerrigan family but balances it perfectly so that we still like them. This is not as easy as it sounds because, in UK parlance, the Kerrigan's are "chavs" and are very simple people, they admire things that many of us would dislike (living below planes and beside pylons) and they are not the brightest in the world. In essence they are the "typical" Australian working class family and Darryl is the classic Aussie battler. The plot is simple and, although it is fairly obvious where it is going and isn't ever that dramatic, the story is gently engaging and pleasing. The laughs are gentle but consistent and show a real good touch in the writing taking "normal" eccentricities and exaggerating just enough to be funny but not to the point where it is absurd. It is hard to describe but basically give it five minutes you'll either get it or you won't and, if you don't, then don't bother with it because it is the same from the start onwards.
The direction is a bit rough and ready but that does suit the material as does the cast. Caton is enjoyable and fits the bill spot on. Tenney has a smaller role but does it well; likewise Simcoe, Hope and a pre-Hollywood Bana. Narration is good from Curry and the majority of the cast play their material well considering the real time pressure they must have been under. One bit of trivia that illustrates the constraints in making this film is that the family name "Kerrigan" was selected because the tow trucks used for the film already had that name painted on them, so it saved costs to change the script rather than change the paint job.
Overall this was a delightfully amusing film with not a single harsh or cruel line in the whole thing. It may make fun of the Kerrigan family but it does it in an affectionate manner that is consistently funny without being a real belly-laugh fest. A perfectly entertaining family film that doesn't appear to have been damaged or compromised by the rushed shoot or the tiny budget.
Two things about this flick and about the movies generally
1. I live a zillion miles away from Australia, a place where probably I'll
never be, a country I have nothing in common with. It does not matter at
all. For an hour and a half I´ve been living there, with one of the weirdest
and lovable families ever seen. I´ve been another australian.
2. I hate law movies. I hate trials on a screen, with distinguished exceptions. I hate lost causes. I hate that David vs. Goliath stuff. I hate J. Grisham's books and adaptations. This film is all about that. But it a marvelous, enjoyable, laughable, tear-jerker, unforgettable film.
Thank you, Antipodes dwellers, for such a gift.
I've fallen in love with this movie. The main character reminds me (and my
wife) of my father-in-law. He can't imagine that life could be any better
than what he's got; a loving family and a house backed up to the airport,
high power lines overhead, and lead in the back yard.
I like getting a glimpse in the life of a lower middle class Australian family. They seem very real to me. The humor rings true, also. "If there's one show my dad likes better than 'Funniest Home Videos', it's 'Best of Funniest Home Videos'"
The youngest son narrates the movie. This just adds a level to the humor. The son is about as simple as the father.
I highly recommend this movie, but my sister-in-law's comment was that that was 90 minutes she'll never get back, so I realize it's not for everyone,
What a fun movie to enjoy over and over. Wonderful performances by the entire cast and the subtle hilarity of the dialogue gets funnier with each viewing. This is one of those rare films that every character evokes sympathy and makes you laugh at the same time. Like the Beach Boy song says, "Fun, Fun, Fun."
Crocodile dundee is nothing on this heartwarming film. The Castle is
with lovable characters, a good dose of Aussie humour and an outlook on
which makes one question their own standards and principles. Anne Tenney
Michael Caton form a realistic and touching couple, and Stephen Currey
the role of Dale Kerrigan perfectly. Bud Tingwell also delights as the
I could go on for hours about how good this film is, but instead I think I'll save my breath and just encourage everyone to give The Castle a go. It's worth every cent and more.
This movie is hilarious, Rob Stitch is a genius, he has captured the essence of Australia and put it on film. If you didn't say during the film at some stage "I know someone just like that!" then you are either not Australian or you are out of touch with the Aussie battler that was once in us all. The "moving of the cars" dialogue is classic and I have played on plenty of pool tables just like the one featured. 10/10.
A man's home is his castle. That is what Daryl believes in. He lives with his wife, two sons, four grey hounds in his house which is right next to the airport in Melbourne. He has a daughter who has married a kick boxer (Eric Bana in one of his early cameos) and a son who is in prison on charge of robbing a gas station. Daryl's is a blissful existence. He loves his wife, compliments her cooking, and has fun with dogs and sons. The sons love their parents. However, their life is turned upside down when one day an eviction notice is served by the neighboring airport which needs the land for expansion. The movie is about Daryl's fight against the airport company. The acting by the largely unknown (to me) Australian cast is superb. Daryl is a total knockout and he will have you laughing with him throughout the runtime. The script is very witty and filled with great lines and quotable quotes. The characters are truly memorable. At a length of 80 minutes, this is breeze of a movie. It starts slowly and then grows on you. You will be sad when it ends. 4 out of 5 for The Castle. Superb entertainer.
When I was young, there were several movies, such as "Liar, Liar", that
I only enjoyed for the unsophisticated, slapstick parts, but as I grew
up, I could appreciate the witty, sophisticated jokes peppered
throughout. As a kid, I did not understand "The Castle" at all. Now
that I'm older, it is my favourite comedy. Why? Because it ingeniously
combines complex comedy and emotion, and has a delightful, incredibly
subtle tongue-in-cheek approach. It challenges you to think how it
could be better, but is totally victorious.
The characters are deliciously authentic and astonishingly likable, from the clueless Dennis Denuto to the almost unrealistically optimistic father. The dialogue is superbly witty, and the level of joy and heartbreak throughout is wonderfully affecting.
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