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The Castle
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Castle More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Australian way of life

Author: Rob Halpin from London, England
5 July 2001



I first saw this film in Australia, and was told that if there was ever a film that could sum up the life , hopes and dreams of an Australian family , then this would be it.

The setting is a suburb outside Melbourne, where the International Airport is. The family home is somewhere near the end of the runway. Due to increased activity and growth, Property developers make plans to extend and build on the properties located where the Kerrigans and neighbours live.Faced with forced eviction the Kerrigan family aswell as the neighbours set out to fight the eviction notices.

With this backdrop , we see the life of the Kerrigan family, a son who is a tryer and has a thirst for knowledge..well a very basic knowledge, but is proud of his family and enjoys how tight and loving the family home is. Considering the lads age , when most kids rebel and play loud music , this character was a great success story for the Kerrigans. Darryl also has two other sons, one is an "ideas man", a sort of Del Trotter wannabe , but you cant get over the crap he wants to buy. He asks his father what a pulpit is. The other son is in prison. In a way , he was a tragic figure. In prison, but yet he and his family were never far from each others thoughts. It was a very touching story which really should've been explored more deeply. Darryl also has a daughter and is basically the apple of his eye. She is a hairdresser and marrys a Kick-boxer fanatic.When they return from their honeymoon, well the scenes and dialogue were superb. The newly married couple talk about the quality of entertainment on the plane , and the hotel service , not to mention the 24 hr channel on Kick-boxing.The Asiatic culture and history simply passed them by.

Darryl employs a solicitor , who cant operate a photocopier , then chastises him for losing his faith in his legal abillities. The solicitor was great in this film , thrown in a legal dispute in which he was clearly out of his depth , yet still went along for the ride.

The Castle was a story of independence and sentiment.Most notable however was the Aussie wit and the idealistic call for the'fair go ' society.Darryl had a Lebanese neighbour , an old poor bloke who had obviously seen better days and a divorced woman who somehow represented the independent knocked about Aussie woman. This I believe was a bit of social commentary where the old values and ways of Australia adapts to the new cultural and social diversification represented in this picture.

All I can say is , is that this film was special in terms of Australian identity and pride. Internationally though , this is as close to how Australians really are , funny , loyal and lovable.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Erudite, compassionate, funny and warm -- who needs more?

10/10
Author: Kim Loughran (green.frog@swipnet.se) from Stockholm, Sweden
5 January 2001

Sometimes a film's idea is so strong -- though it may be undefinable -- that if a script is halfway good and the direction is halfway ambitious, everything will gel. In this film, the script was marvellous, the direction gleeful, the acting committed -- and the story was the timeless one about the little man's struggle against the sometimes ruthless impetus of big business. How uplifting to see a film where ordinary people are allowed to be slightly tasteless and tacky and yet where their individuality and character help you transcend that. These are ordinary, inspiring people in a story that is utterly gripping in its simplicity. What a treat! "What a Wonderful Life" -- eat your heart out!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A bloody funny movie

10/10
Author: Marc (jeronimous_2000@hotmail.com) from Melbourne, Australia
21 August 2000

This is the best aussie movie ever. It is really funny and the acting by Michael Caton (Daryl Kerrigan) is top class. The story is based on a low-class family that lives next door to an airport. One day they get the news that they are going to have to move out of their homes because airlink wants to expand. Daryl doesn't have any of this though and fights the legal system all the way with his mate Denis Denuto and Laurie,a retired QC. Non-stop laughs all the way and even includes touching moments that top off a great all-round movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An excellent example of talent and intelligence.

10/10
Author: imakluttz from USA
28 February 2000

As a "yank" (person of US origin) Married to a "Sheila", and having lived in Australia I found "The Castle" fresh and funny. A comic look at Oz determination and love of Life. Characters of such proportion that they became like family members. Script writing that leads to constant quotes in my daily life, and the life of my family. Our family which ranges in age from 50 to 9 all enjoyed the movie, the characters, the plot, and the comic approach to the subject matter. And have watched the movie over many times.

As a person involved with production of Movies, commercials, Video's and Radio programs I found the laid back approach to filming ingenious and comfortable. "The Castle" is produced in glorious form, yet not bogged down by overproduction, or "Hollywood" type glitz. It's a finely crafted screenplay, supported by a solid cast, and appropriate sound track. Clever Acting, and directing show throughout the film. An excellent example of talent and intelligence.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Special night experiencing "The Castle"

10/10
Author: pistolpeet from Los Angeles, CA
1 May 1999

I had the privilege of being able to see a special screening of "The Castle" before it opened to the public in Los Angeles. The creators of "The Castle" spoke briefly before the picture began and gave us a little insight and history. For example, they filmed this movie in 11 days! Talk about long days, I can just imagine!

"The Castle" was so much fun, we all have stories about our parents and this is the kind of movie that reminds you that the quirks that our parents have are what makes them special. A must see for all families. Enjoy!!!!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Well Worth a Watch

7/10
Author: Tim Tamslam from Australia
11 June 2010

Working Dog have a proved record of demonstrating that a mega-budget isn't essential to producing enjoyable, well-conceived and executed films and television shows.

"The Castle", however, is not a film which everyone will enjoy without some effort. Because the humor derives very much from a particular part of the world, those of different cultures and countries will not readily relate to many of the gags. There is enough generic humor Making light, as it does, of a happy family enjoying life's simple pleasures is not something that everyone finds funny, either. But if one puts aside such sensitivities for the sake of enjoying the light-hearted story, it is an enjoyable watch.

It did seem to me that there was a change of scriptwriter about half way through the film, as the style of dialogue changed. The most obvious aspect of this was the sudden inclusion of four-letter words in characters' speech, for the second half of the film. Another oddity of the film was the pronunciation of "castle", which was more characteristic of Toorak residents (and their wannabees) than Essendon.

But put that aside and enjoy the ride. It's certainly worth a watch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Funny and beautiful movie

10/10
Author: lklein12321 from United States
26 January 2010

An amazingly humorous movie (very understated humor) that also subtly tells us what's important in life: leadership - bringing out the best in the people around you if even you're a tow truck driver, enjoying the life you've been given without bitterness, remorse, etc., standing up for your rights and fighting for your family and friends.

Apparently a review needs at least 10 lines. So here's a rerun:

An amazingly humorous movie (very understated humor) that also subtly tells us what's important in life: leadership - bringing out the best in the people around you if even you're a tow truck driver, enjoying the life you've been given without bitterness, remorse, etc., standing up for your rights and fighting for your family and friends.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A modern fairytale?

9/10
Author: brimon28 from Canberra, Australia
25 November 2009

Watching this film on the box, after having seen the original in a hardtop in 1997, was an educational experience. It bears many resemblances to the old-fashioned fairytale. Villains, a fairy godmother, the triumph of good over evil, and a moral. The moral is 'There's no place like home'. Think about the political environment in 1997. It's not unlike what it is now. Those of you who have had a brush with the law, or a battle with big business, will recognize the plot. Twelve years on, The Castle is as relevant to-day as it was in 1997. Think about another great fairytale. Like The Wizard of Oz. And the final few words: 'There's no place like home'. The Castle is the archetypal 'home'. It's worth fighting for, not because it is a building, but because it represents family. The Wizard of Oz is worth watching over and over for its political agenda. Each viewing of The Castle will reveal new insights into current political, social, and economic truths. Ordinary people with ordinary concerns are powerless, until some whistleblower or dedicated person takes up the sword of justice. I confess to saying in 1997: 'Amusing, funny, but not a great film'. The Castle is stupendously popular because it is a great film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What A Great Movie

10/10
Author: UAF-Nanooks from Alaska
7 October 2009

This is one of those gems that you have no idea what it is or about when you see it in the TV guide. It was on IFC and luckily for me the little write-up made it sound interesting so I recorded it and just watched it. The Castle is very funny, quirky and the age old story of battling the windmills. The actors are excellent in their portrayal of the characters and the story line is full of humorous tidbits that you think about for a second and then laugh. It is not meant for kids because there is fluent use of the F word but it didn't spoil the film for me. I probably would of said it the same way.

I am going to recommend this film to all my friends and will watch it again to catch little things I missed the first time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"This is going straight to the pool room."

10/10
Author: TrevorAclea from London, England
23 June 2008

The Castle is an absolute delight from start to finish, a good-natured, open-hearted no-budget Australian comedy shot in 11 days that really works, not least because you really love the characters. They may live in a less than des res at the end of a runway and have worse taste than trailer trash, but they're truly happy with their lot and each other so you find yourself laughing with them as much as at them as they fight a compulsory purchase order on their 'castle' with the aid of their lawyer who can't even get his photocopier to work properly, let alone interpret law beyond 'the vibe.' It breaks a lot of the rules of construction, relying heavily on narration and repetition, but it really works. Easily the most joyously likable film I've seen in ages.

Miramax's NTSC DVD is the US version of the film with minor dialogue changes from 'Strine phrases that might leave US viewers scratching their heads - the Region 4 disc is the original Australian version, rissoles and all.

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