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bindi_342

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A wonderful attempt at adapting an Australian classic., 10 July 2004
8/10

Unlike the other reviewers (it appears), I came to this movie after a long love affair with the original story*. I borrowed 'The Silver Brumby' off of a friends mother as a child, and read it six times through before handing it back. It is one of those stories that just captures the heart and the imagination, and is truly an Australian classic.

I was 12yo when the movie was released. Now, 11 years and many viewings later, I feel a little melancholy that while they did a wonderful job, they may have just missed the mark in some aspects. The subplot of Elyne Mitchell and her daughter Indi was never in the book, and I do feel it was ultimately unnecessary and more often than not disrupted the movies flow. The 'Man' was portrayed as to hard, almost possessed. True he was fairly obsessed by Thowra, but he also greatly respected him, and the bush in general. I also missed Storm, Thowra's bay half brother, who was such a large part in the story and a personal favourite of mine. It was bordering on being a bit sugary at times as well. On the other hand some scenes were just about perfect, like the pages of the book come to life before my eyes, and for that I'm very thankful. The soundtrack also is beautiful, and particularly haunting during the final chase.

There are other small changes that seem unnecessary to me, such as the blending of Golden's owner and 'the man on the black horse' into one person when in the book they were separate people, but I suppose they thought that children would get confused (a common, and often wrong, assumption from my experience) so they strove to simplify it as much as possible. Ultimately I feel that the story was simplified too much, therefore losing some of the depth and power of the original.

Over all the visuals were about perfect, the story surprisingly close to the original for a lot of it (unlike many other book to movie adaptations), the sense of magic and mystery quite well portrayed. You could really feel that the bush was almost a character in it's own right. After 11 years I still thoroughly enjoy watching it (unlike the total travesty of the cartoon series released in the late 90's which was mildly horrendous even by young children's cartoon standards).

As a book to movie adaptation I give it 5 out of 10. As a movie in it's own right, 7 1/2 out of 10.

*I'd urge any child, or adult who still loves a tales full of wonder, joy and excitement, to seek out the source material. There are 6 books in the original series, written from 1958 to 1973. 1. 'The Silver Brumby', 2. 'Silver Brumby's Daughter', 3. 'Silver Brumbies of the South', 4. 'Silver Brumby Kingdom', 5. 'Silver Brumby Whirlwind' and 6. 'Son of the Whirlwind'. There is also 'Moon Filly' which was written between numbers 4 & 5 and ties into the later books. From 1993 onwards she added more to the saga; 'Silver Brumby, Silver Dingo', 'Dancing Brumby', 'Brumbies of the Night', 'Dancing Brumby's Rainbow' and 'The Thousandth Brumby'. I don't think these later books quite match up to the earlier ones, but they are still most enjoyable and it is lovely to read about the later generations. Elyne Mitchell is also the author of many other books for both adults and children. I could not recommend her highly enough.