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OK, if some people believe that Australians are all as simple as the Kerrigans, then they're the ones who are simple. But this movie relies on the stereotype created by movies like Crocodile Dundee and wouldn't have gone as far as it did without it. And that's what makes it so funny - showing pride in this Aussie stereotype. And as simple as this movie is, the message is loud and clear. If there were more people like the Kerrigans, the world would be a better place, because their honest values ring true. When the government wants to aquire Darryl Kerrigan's house for an airport expansion, he won't stand for it, because it's not a just house, it's a home, with people who love and care for eachother. To quote the words of the great Bud Tingwell, or rather his character, Laurie Hammill, "a home is not built of bricks and water, but love and memories. You can't pay for it, and you're just short-changing people if you try."
I've read the other reviews and all the Aussie viewers agree that this is the funniest movie ever. I watched it in an almost empty theatre on a wednesday matinee and I laughed so much the whole row of empty seats nearly tipped over (I always thought they were bolted to the floor) Coming from a family of "Trading Post" readers I wept the whole way through this film. To the Americans bewildered at this film - forget Crocodile Dundee and Priscilla, this film is how 90% of this country thinks and talks. And this is what we think is funny.
Reading through the mainly enthusiastic comments appearing here about "The
Castle", I can't help but feel that the main strength of this gem of a
is being missed.
Rob Sitch and co. have managed to translate the ramifications of the historic Mabo Decision into terms every non-Aboriginal Australian can relate to. When Darryl Kerrigan remarks "I think I'm beginning to see how the Aborigines feel" (or words to that effect) and his wife replies "Have you been drinking, darl?", this is the very heart of the film. Love of home, of place. If you loved your home as much as the Kerrigans love theirs, wouldn't you fight all the way to the Supreme court to save it. Wouldn't you do an Eddie Mabo?
Most of us, of course, don't love our homes this way anymore, seeing them as simply rungs on the "home-ownership" ladder. So the Kerrigans must necessarily be people with modest needs, modest expectations and a great deal of love, to fight so tenaciously for their home when it doesn't even have "a big driveway" - sadly this seems to make them appear as somehow mentally deficient to some of the (american) reviewers on this site. Yes, they are sweet, they are "simple" - they also made an entire theatre audience stand up and cheer!
In short, a film with a lot more "smarts" than overseas audiences could fairly be expected to appreciate, but a film justifiably set to become an Aussie classic.
Think I'll take up trout fishing (ala "A River Somewhere") - must do wonders for the mind.
I guess you would probably have to be Australian to understand some of the
clever cultural jokes in this film! Saying that, Im sure audiences all over
the world could find some entertainment and value to the story of the simple
man leading the simple life. Maybe its a bittersweet reflection on our
society when the main character is defending a house that is virtually noise
polluted and ugly!
But hey, who cares right? The point of this film is that even though some things may seem worthless to some people, it can have an inner meaning to others! Its a story about appreciating what you've got and fighting for it, regardless of its monetary value! Okay so the Kerrigan family are uneducated simpletons, but they have a decent belief system and they appreciate the life they lead! They believe their home is paradise and soon as I watch more of this flick- I started to believe the same thing!
I really enjoyed this film and its simple message especially in a world where a successful family can get blurred with how much money they have! This is a great fun predictable film and its well worth a look, and Michael Caten is excellent! The Aussie brand of humour isn't for everyone and some of the jokes are a bit overdone, but the message is great! ***1/2 out of *****!
You cant help but find this movie wonderfull. This is a Story about an
Australian Family who live near an airport and have been summonsed with a
compulsary purchase order on their house or should i say their HOME.
When you see how happy these people are as a family you feel that these people have everything, not material things but a love for each other that not many familys have. Their way life is threatened by by the airport company who want to take their home away. They take the corporate firm to court and......Watch it yourself and find out. you will love it. 8 out of 10
This movie is wonderful -- in the spirit of "The Full Monty". A nice light comedy that stands up for the ordinary man. No, its not a great work of art, but I guarantee that if you like idiosyncratic characters and gentle humour then you will come out of the theatre smiling. Do go and see it.
This is the best movie I have ever seen! I saw it at the Brisbane premiere
in March '97 and I ended up seeing it four more times before I won a copy of
it on video. This is the funniest, most heartwarming film ever to come out
of Australia and it only took twelve and half days to film on a really low
budget. It was shown in the US at this year's Sundance Film Festival and the
audience was apparently rolling in the aisles. It is a movie that makes you
feel happy for the little people who just stick to their own things and when
the big guys come to get 'em, they fight to the bitter end. Here's a
transcript of my favourite scene involving Dale talking to his brother Wayne
Wayne: How's Mum? Dale: Good. Wayne: How's Dad? Dale: Good. Wayne: How's Trace? Dale: Good. Wayne: How are you? Dale: Good. Wayne: How's Steve? Dale: He's alright. Wayne: Good. Dale (v.o.): We could just chat for hours.
See it and I hope it wins a stack of Oscars!
The movie has a strong Australian suburban feel which is quite true to life -- the characters remind me of people I knew growing up here in Sydney. The script is light-hearted and leaves you with a good feeling -- it is however a little far fetched -- not that it matters because it's not meant to be taken seriously -- just enjoy it!
This movie is great. I was laughing my head of at the foreign guy from across the road, but I don't think this did too well overseas because its mostly Aussie humour, not slapstick humour. It leaves you happy after watching it, and feeling sorry for the low scale lawyer (great character). In Australia there were competititions for home loans using the tag line, I'm sure everyone with a wide minded sense of humour will absolutely LOVE this movie, if you have a chance, SEE IT!!!!
We saw this movie at the suggestion of new friends from Australia who we met on a bus tour of Scotland! This movie is not only very funny, but heart -warming as well. The family's devotion to each other is very sweet and it was great to see the "little guy" come out on top for a change! I highly recommend it!
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