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It is a great movie which just shows that simple pleasures in life means so much more.The story is very simple.It is about a family taking on the big guns to stop compulsory acquisition of their property.The characterisation is great and the acting is also very good. What makes this movie very special for me is the relationship between the members of the family and the way they stick to each other through thick and thin.In addition to that the humour is very fresh and different from what we are used to seeing in Hollywood. It is a very Australian movie.I have never been to Australia but this movie makes me feel that I know the country already.It also depicts the multicultural side of the country.
There are some films that stand out as gentle, original and authentically moving without being sickeningly sentimental. Offhand I can think of only a handful - Alan Parker's The Commitments (1991) leaps to mind, Nicholas Ellenbogen and Koos Roets's The Angel, The Bicycle and the Chinaman's Finger (1991) and Gene Saks's Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986) - and like these films, Rob Stitch's The Castle is eminently quotable, improves with repeated watchings and stands the test of time. It is exemplary of that brand of subtly humorous writing that leads one to recall gags years later and become hysterical entirely out of context. It is the triumph of the little guy, the power of collaboration, the impact of affectionate satire, the art of a simple performance and the beauty of a really terrific gag. See this film.
I loved this film, and I have read every review here on it. I
understand that the are several 'Australianisms' to it, that some
'narrow-minded' and 'slow' viewers may not get, but you have to look at
the film in the broader perspective. True, it is an 'Australian' film,
and a great one too; a classic Aussie tale that shows the qualities
that most admire about Australians, much like Tim Winton's
'Cloudstreet'. I dispute some of the comments from non-Aussies, that
it's a bunch of no names. They're not typical A-list celebs, but
they're Aussie celebs, such as Michael Caton (even though I don't like
him much, is really good in this). It is a bit of a stereotypical
suburban family, but at least it's a true stereotype, well-known Aussie
shows like 'The Price is Right' and 'Hey Hey It's Saturday', it is an
Australian comedy, and an authentic one. We do it best when it's
original, as opposed to copied TV soapies and dramas, skits etc.
It is truly 'a comedy that sticks the finger up the big guys' in every sense.
"Suffer in yer jocks!"
I really liked 'The Castle.' It's an Australian production about the
dumb, but lovable Kerrigan family. Dale Kerrigan, the youngest,
narrates the story of how his dad Darryl, a guy with a heart of gold,
saved their home. I don't know why Dale narrated the tale, than say
some third party, considering he is really inconsequential to the
'The Castle' is so funny because the Kerrigan family is so dumb. But, at the same time, they're idyllic and really sincere to each other. Every night when Darryl's wife serves him dinner, he says to his wife with surprise "this is nice, what do you call it?" "Chicken," she says. "Yeah, but what you've done with it," he marvels. "Seasoning." And Darryl plasters a nice smile across his face, proud of his wife. Honestly, anyone being raised in a household like the Kerrigans, it must do wonders to your self-esteem.
In the introduction, Dale proudly tells about how his father acquired their small, but rapidly growing home, the subject of the story. Says Dale, he must have gotten a real deal on the home because he got it so cheap, and today, it's almost worth just as much. The house, the pride of the Kerrigan family, as it turns out, lies right next to the airport runway and directly under a string of power lines.
After an appraiser shows up in the neighborhood to inspect the houses on Darryl's block, the residents get a letter from a company that they're "compulsorlary required" (this is how it is stated in the movie, hence the joke) to sell their homes at face value to the company looking to buy their property, knock it down, and expand the airport. This is called the law of eminent domain, where the government (the company is a subsidary of the federal government of Australia) can come in a give just compensation for your property if they require use of your land. I think it's referred to as public domain.
Darryl Kerrigan doesn't want to sell his house. Says Darryl, "a man's house is his castle." Darryl, and his neighborhood support, take it to the courts, determined not to be so easily intimidated by a large corporation looking to get their way by any means necessary. At first, Darryl hires his inept barrister (lawyers to us Yanks), Dennis, to take the case to court. Except the moron, who in real life would face a malpractice suit, goes in strictly arguing "the vibe" of the constitution of Australia prohibits the company from taking Darryl's land. But all hope seems lost for the Kerrigan family, until they are approached by a kindly old solicitor who finds merit in Darryl's case, and wants to present it before the highest court in Australia. The issue: is the company's offer for a person's home "just compensation" as required by the laws governing property acquisition? And that's pretty much what this whole movie expresses. That the Kerrigan's home is much more than physical property, it's an irreplaceable sentimental value.
Even though I dismissed this movie as somewhat too idealistic regarding the outcome of the case, in fact, Australian eminent domain laws have changed, modeling something like the outcome of (and justifications for) the case in this movie.
Aside from all the business about property law, The Castle is an outrageously funny little movie. The short introduction to the family lays out the general mood of the movie--sarcastic humor. It's good stuff.
Fans of THE DISH might want to check out this delightful `David and Goliath' tale set in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Ignore the misguided poster on the video and give THE CASTLE a chance. If you're not hooked within the first five minutes, turn it off and save yourself the trouble - it's not your cup of tea.
But for those that are laughing their heads off in the opening scenes detailing the plight of the Kerrigan Family's `castle' - a gaudy yet lovably home next to a major airport - you're in for a ninety minute treat. Director Rob Sitch works magic with a minimal budget and a fine ensemble cast headed by Michael Canton. The screenwriting quartet of Sitch, Cilaur, Gleisner & Kennedy keep the laughs and the story fast and furious, while never losing sight of the fact that THE CASTLE is actually a clever parable on the importance of home and family.
If anyone tells you they didn't like this movie, `tell em they're dreamin'.'
I've watched this film about 3 times now (and many more times in the future
after I buy it), and it only gets better with each viewing. I think anybody
who appreciates the humor of any Cohen brother's films will enjoy this movie
about a working class family fighting for
The story is simple and straightforward, yet there are hints of aboriginal rights issues running parallel which adds only more depth about a family trying to save their house from the bulldozer. The humor and message are balanced perfectly, while the voice over work really bonds you with the characters as the film progresses.
I really enjoyed the artistic qualities of this film from a technical standpoint as well. The lighting is flat and the colors are bland. Every shot is lit hard and bright, no soft shadows or beauty shots in this film! Technical qualities that only support the message of this truly unique and wonderful film that will be an Australian classic.
Now I realise that not all Americans described this movie as "laughless"
"lackluster", and that some Australians have absolutely despised this
(very few however) but I honestly think the Americans don't understand
Australian humour. I personally find the repetition of The Castle highly
amusing ("tell 'em he's dreamin'"..."it's the vibe") and the clueless,
stupidity of the characters is so typical of Australian comedies. I know
it's probably not the American viewers faults that the majority of their
comedy is all the same sort of stupid slapstick that they've grown so
But anyway, I think this is a great film. It is entertaining, charming
memorable. It's definately one of the better Australian
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**May Contain Spoilers**
Rob Sitch and the Working Dog team's 1997 comedy is a quaint little film with a few universal truths we can all see the merits of. Confronted with the prospect of a compulsory acquistion by a trans national air consortium, a middle aged family man named Darryl Kerrigan (played with an amazing verve by Michael Caton), fights the decision by rallying family and neighbours and going to court to do battle with the giant corporation. Following a 'David versus Goliath' type battle, the Kerrigans emerge as the new heroes of the Australian working class. Sitch and co. have created a film that, with the 'right' sense of humour, works on many levels. The script, filled with many quotable gems, many are actually Australian idioms not used by the majority of Aussies but have since been embraced in this re-birth of lost Australian culture, is continually funny and even delves into serious issues facing both the Kerrigan family and Australia in general (for example, displacement, national identity and the Mabo decision). Sitch and his co-writers don't really go for the jugular in their particular brand of humour, rather just amusing in a simple and traditional way, which is a welcome relief from the glut of gross-out flicks that have been produced in the last decade, especially. The performances from the entire cast is excellent and befits the film's quirky nature. The female characters are given quite marginalised roles, yet this doesn't detract from the overall characterisations. With many laughs to be found in this little Aussie gem, it's well worth the time. (Just do NOT watch it with expectations of 'high-art' - it's not pretentious in the slightest.) Recommended.
A simple story of love for family and their home. It does not take itself seriously in characters or subject matter, but the result is a timeless Aussie comedy. Eric Banna's role is beautifully timed and understated. It is one movie I think all Australians can relate to regardless of cultural background.
This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Incredible. IT even
might have been a real story, that shows that the only thing that can battle
bureacracy is simplicity. If you don't get a severe case of ROFLYAO by this
movie, go see the doctor.
BTW: ROFLYAO = Rolling On (the) Floor Laughing Your Ass Off
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