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|Index||23 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Diane and I saw this fabulous film yesterday and, as with most
Australian movies, it will linger for many weeks in a mind that has
trouble remembering what happened one hour ago. When I sit in a
darkened theater, knowing nothing about the film I am going to see
except that it is made in and takes place somewhere in Australia, I am
obviously a little trepidatious not knowing anything of where I will be
taken during the next hour. However, soon I get sucked into the action
on the screen and Lucky Miles accomplished this subtly and brilliantly.
The drama unfolds with great seriousness and no humour but eventually you, along with the other viewers, are laughing at the all-to-human situations with which these poor refugees find themselves confronted. It was of help knowing something about the geographical areas these characters found themselves in and it was of some help knowing of the people that they had to deal with before the movie ended but it is not necessary. To be alive and to have encountered these incidents is all this rich, insightful film requires of the viewer.
How can you not laugh at a guy driving a broken wreck of a ute, minus a front wheel but still moving with the front bumper holding the vehicle in a rough straight line? Or the driver driving the ute backwards, sitting on the bonnet with his legs dangling over the dashboard while steering through the broken wind screen; he claims to be a Bassra, Iraqi with a PhD in mechanical engineering. This is a wonderful, rich look at a terribly serious subject punctuated with these bizarre humorous scenarios.
A brilliant movie that should not be missed under any circumstances.
This movie tackles the sensitive political issue of boat-people with laconic Aussie humour against the grandeur of the Western Australian desert and wilderness. The staggeringly beautiful and savage landscape is filmed to maximise the desperation of people who overcome all odds and somehow the director has managed to make it very, very funny.The well-cast motley crew of lesser known actors create multi-faceted rolls with which you can engage. Its a movie full of wonderful faces and intelligent thought. A little word of advice for intrepid travellers - should a largish lizard come hurtling towards you in the outback - do not stand still - as it will think you are a tree and climb!!
The story and script are highly entertaining. The film examines the issue of asylum seekers in a non-confronting way, simply looking at it through the frame of immediate survival for the three "buddies". The acting throughout is also very convincing, and I will even give 3 out of 10 stars to South Australia for its portrayal of the Kimberley. There were some shots when the two stranded fishermen were walking along a beach under some red cliffs which could almost have passed for Cape Vilaret near Broome, but the "inland" shots mostly looked wrong in terms of vegetation and soil. It is sad that when the landscape is such a crucial character in a film, and when authenticity has been well-served in casting the humans, a similarly authentic approach could not also have been applied to that landscape.
This film is for thinkers. The contrast and interaction between the 2
main characters alone, is priceless! Kind of a cowboy story where
everyone is on their own selfish little trip, all a little lost in one
way or another.
Just when we think something terrible is going to happen, WHAM, a clever, witty remark or something unexpected happens. What a hilarious send-up of the Australian army.
As The Sydney Morning Herald puts it, it's a bit like The Wizard of Oz minus Dorothy and the dog.
The dessert, is so beautiful, and the music, well, I sure hope the soundtrack is available soon.
Yes, the 'birds aren't very musical in Australia'. ;-D Lisa McIntosh
This film depicts an Australia the Government doesn't want you to know
about and the tourism industry will not depict in its advertisements.
But the story incorporates truly comedic and heartfelt elements and Australians that we can all identify with.
I challenge anyone to see this film and not be moved by it.
Hrmm. My review needs to be 10 lines long.
This is an unmissable film!
If you see anything in 2007 it should be Lucky Miles.
Lock up your daughters and get to the cinema for Lucky Miles.
I must be up to ten lines now....
LOVED the film ..the story line the cinematography....there were so
many wonderful moments...loved how the Arun 'pan' like figure searched
for his Father in spite of the odds...loved how the ute and the old
shed scene ...felt the raw human emotion when Arun was in the
headlights of the car driven by Gerard K...it was fate and luck as to
whether the driver would be friend or foe...so well done!
Loved how S.A. was made to look like W.A....and how the mean pirate seemed to be sending the message that "He who is without sentiment or conscience will prevail"...but did his karma-drama get him?..watch the film and find out!
Loved Lillian Crombies brief appearance and how the army-tracker really captured the skill and simplicity of the Black-fellas perception of things...especially when they were all running left right and centre and he observed their histrionics.
Thought it was funny when the Sargeant was showing his tracker skills by reading the obvious.....
Really liked how the vulnerability of dispossession was portrayed and how Yousiff kept on going in spite of having lost his wife and brother and job and belongings...and how he looked after the others in spite of his anguish and frustration.
And its true..bars in Asia are full of funny smelling Ozzies and the kind of humour you captured in the film.
One of my favourite scenes was when someone said "He has a gun" and the camera panned right back to a synchronised retreat of all in the shot...well done!
An AFI for this one I reckon!
Well, blow me down... I loathe Australian movies... so I was taking my
chances here... and for once, the reviews on IMDb were spot on... this
fine little Aussie film is a masterpiece.
I don't know if it would work as well for people who aren't Australian because it is the master of some subtle nuance, however, just a brilliant little film, with some very surprisingly hilarious moments... I'm still amazed as I write. This is a movie I could watch again and still thoroughly appreciate.
Watch the beginning carefully... it links beautifully with the ending, but all the stuff in between, wonderful.
Every so often we get to see a little film on TV not too long after its hardtop screening. And this one was worth the second look. It's another way of looking at the Australian outback, not for its awesome beauty but for the challenges it sets for people not used to such a landscape. Here we have such a challenge, the protagonists being asylum seekers who are victims of amoral people-smugglers. This is currently a political hot potato in Australia, as it has been for many years. But this film has a quirky edge to it, and the seriousness of the images is relieved hugely by the humour. It really is fun, and the way the Australians in uniform handle the reality is the fun that has come to be known as gallows humour. Imagine you're a cop or a soldier faced with a nasty situation. You grin, and relieve the tension by making light of things. Resourcefulness and mateship are supposed to be part of the Australian psyche, and this great little film has it in spades. Think "Bush Mechanics". Think "Flight of the Phoenix". And listen out for the voice on the radio. That's the beautiful Deborah Mailman, whom the casting agent would surely have loved to at least do a walk-on. See it on wide screen.
Sometimes, ugly times produce beautiful art, and Lucky Miles is a
I've lost count of the times a smirking politician has described how shockingly, insufferably bad things are in some of them nasty foreign places. They should be thankful we're carpet-bombing them, to restore some civility. Or so we're constantly told.
At the same time it's argued that if some of the locals ever wanted to flee from the above-mentioned insufferably-bad places then there must be something suspicious about them.
Politicians depict refugees as a kind of blood-sucking mix of sacrilege and explosives and use this kind of message to win elections. In one infamous Australian election campaign, the incumbent Liberal government headed by John Howard explained to a horrified electorate that refugees showed their true colors by throwing healthy babies into the ocean to drown. And they had photos to prove it. The electorate was stunned and offered sufficient votes to return the government for another term. It was only after the election that the whole story came out: the kids in the photos (and adults too) were in the water because their boat was sinking.
Refugees are a fact of life, and with climate change set to inundate some of the most heavily populated coastal regions with salty water, the smart money says the issue is not going to fade away. There's no such thing as a country without borders and in a place like Australia, which is an island-continent the size of mainland USA, I think it's preferable being better informed about refugees rather than lied to.
And so it is with an approach of casting a gentle and honest light on a mixed batch of refugees, dumped on a remote stretch of Australian coastline, that Lucky Miles begins its story. The refugees are not saints, and they're not villains either. In fact they seem to be remarkably human. Excited, frightened, insecure, and totally unfamiliar with their new surroundings, but at all times, human. There's one memorable scene where a group encounters an 'unexploded' tin can. The film doesn't mock their response. It just deals with it and moves on. And I love that.
One aspect of the film which I've never seen used before, was the use of text translations positioned right alongside the speakers instead of always running on the bottom of the screen as subtitles. I hate thinking of all the foreign-language footage I've never seen over the years because I was tied up scanning only the bottom one-tenth of a screen reading the text. Placing the translations alongside the character not only allowed me to watch the film, but also made it crystal clear which character was talking - a feature which enhanced the long-distance scenes immeasurably. That subtle difference alone made me feel like spontaneously applauding.
And that's what it's like to watch this film. You can peel away the 'spin' filters, canned laughter and smoke machines, and make up your own mind about the issues as the story develops. And it is a good story too, with real human drama. It is told with refreshing simplicity. It feels believable. Director Michael James Rowland truly shines in his role.
I thoroughly recommend this film.
Lucky Miles is a movie which every Australian should see. It deals
delicately and stylishly with the topics of illegal immigration,
cross-cultural interconnectedness and isolation, while also presenting
a gripping and sometimes beautifully humorous narrative. By presenting
the stories of the two groups of boat people in a non-judgemental and
value neutral manner this film could go a long way towards repairing
Australia's generally xenophobic international reputation.
The different, and yet intimately connected stories draw the reader in and immerse them in the stark reality of the Australian outback. As one character points out, it is hard to see this landscape as human, let alone as being part of a developed country. As the viewer joins the immigrants, locals and indigenous trackers through their travails of surviving this atrocious climate they are also led (metaphorically) through the intricacies of our immigration policy.
See this movie with your eyes open people!
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