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The greatest movie of our time.
17 starters lined up for the first Cup. Before they could be got away, the mare Twilight, bolted and galloped a full circuit of the course before she could be captured. Despite this she was allowed to take her place in the field. The start was good, with Flatcatcher the first to show out from Archer. As the runners entered the straight for the first time Medora fell, bringing down Dispatch and the unfortunate Twilight. Twilight was immediately up on her feet and bolted off the course. Medora and dispatch were fatally injured. Meanwhile, Archer had raced to the front at the river turn. He held his lead comfortably to the straight entrance where he was three lengths clear of Antonelli, with Mormon, Prince and Toryboy in a bunch behind the second runner. In the run home Archer cleared right away to win as he liked from Mormon who finished well, with Prince third and Antonelli fourth. The time was 3m 42s. No Melbourne Cup has ever taken longer to run. While this movie suggests that Archer walked to the 1st Melbourne Cup from Sydney, all evidence suggests that he actually went by boat. As a result this movie is completely redundant. Nevertheless, it is the greatest story and greatest movie of our time. Archer won the next year as well.
If you read the book you'll get it.
On first glance, F&L is not a book that is ideal for film. It is the surreal images of bats, giant lizards and cannibals that one would think would only work on the written page. I read the book before I saw the movie and was happily surprised that it does indeed pay homage to an extraordinarily original tale. The dialogue is very close to the written text and the images created are exactly as you'd imagine as you'd read the book. Looking at Duke's completely decimated hotel room near the end is testament to this fact. A couple of my mates have seen the film without reading the book and were unable to understand just what was going on, and I suspect most of the critics fell into the same boat. If you haven't read the book and been engrossed by HST's dialogue then there is no way on earth that you'll have any clue what the madness is about. So read the book, watch the film and sit back and understand just what Thompson was on about. Johnny Depp is great, Benicio is excellent. This is a movie that was always destined to be something of a cult classic. Even if you hate it, you'll understand its greatness.