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So Damian Parer is someone I have been interested in for a while, ever since reading 'One Crowded Hour' about another legendary Australian cameraman Neil Davis. Let me share The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The Good Great acting. Matthew Le Nevez's performance is of note, seamlessly demonstrating the contradictory nature of Parer's character: fearless in battle yet vulnerable in love; reckless but thoughtful; an intelligent man who could sometimes need a tap on the shoulder. Other performances of note was the powerful David Breen and the relatively unknown but graceful Adelaide Clemens.
Good locations. I assume most of the action was filmed in Queensland.
The Bad The plot is kind of condensed. Parer covered Tobruk, Timor, Kakoda, and through to Pelélieu. I didn't really get the opportunity to connect with any of the characters other than Damian, and only because I had a lot of the back story already.
Attention to detail was hit and miss. Sometimes the soldiers looked battle-worn, haggard, dirty, their clothes falling off at the seams. But other times it looked like they'd just had mum iron their shirt, or better yet, taken straight out of the plastic.
The Ugly: It suffered from what I can only describe as the Neighbours effect, creating drama and conflict one would imagine is well out of proportion "Just leave me along no, come back here and leave me alone..". I do not refer to the battle scenes here either. Although I was bothered by that clean shaven captain who kept appearing and looking like he'd just stepped out of a Day Spa.
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