Barky, 25, lost soul, left home two years ago to escape his abusive father leaving behind everything in the world that was important to him; now that his father's dead, he thinks it's safe to come home.
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Barky, a lost soul of 25, returns from the Australian cane fields to his hometown, inner-city Erskineville. Barky left two years ago to escape his drunken and abusive father, leaving behind everything in the world that was important to him. His brother Wace. His girlfriend Lanny. His life. Now that his father's dead, he thinks it's safe to come home, but Barky soon discovers that if staying home was hard, coming home is harder. Wace is bitter. Barky ran away just like their mother. Wace toughed it out. Alone he stood by his dying father. After two years and no explanation, can Lanny take Barky back? With everything on the line will Barky choose again to leave it all behind? In the King's Hotel the two brothers try to make sense out of life after their father's death. Beer, anger and pain prove to be a dangerous mix. Written by
An excellent performance from Hugh Jackman, in his first straight dramatic role after an exalted career in stage musicals, is the only saving grace for Erskineville Kings, the debut feature from former advertising whiz Alan White.
This is a highly self-indulgent and pretentious piece, filled with laughable nomenclature, savagely stilted dialogue, and the shoddiest technical direction seen in an Australian film for well over a decade.
I saw this film when it was selected to open the 1999 Australian Film Institute Awards screenings in Perth. Aside from Jackman, who has some chance for an award in a lukewarm year for male actors in Australia, Erskineville Kings will undoubtedly disappear without trace when its cinematic release concludes in about a month's time.
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