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Chopper tells the intense story of Mark "Chopper" Read, a legendary criminal who wrote his autobiography while serving a jail sentence in prison. His book, "From the Inside", upon which the film is based, was a best-seller.
A Melbourne family is very happy living where they do, near the Melbourne airport (according to Jane Kennedy, it's "practically their back yard"). However, they are forced to leave their beloved home, by the Government and airport authorities. 'The Castle' is the story of how they fight to remain in their house, taking their case as far as the High Court.Written by
Simon Quinn <G.Quinn@mailbox.uq.edu.au>
This is an very Australian film built for a particular sense of humour. Having lived in both Sydney and Melbourne, I feel I can say that this will appeal more to the Melbourne than the Sydney sense of humour.
Forget "The Crocodile Hunter", Nicole Kidman or Russel Crowe. This is a lot closer to your typical Australian.
Reading the other comments, two things surprised me.
1) That anybody outside Australia, the UK, NZ or Ireland actually got this movie. To those Americans who praised it, thank you for taking the time to appreciate something outside your normal experiences.
2) The ferocity with with those who didn't get it damned the movie.
The Castle is very very clever. Yes, there are references to "wogs" and "lebs", but if given how that's exactly how a large percentage of these ethnic groups refer to themselves, they are terms without power and thus are rarely used in a racist sense. Melbourne is a wog city. It has the largest Greek population outside of Greece and is the third largest Greek city in the world. It also feature a huge population of first, second or third generation Italians. Some of my ex-coworkers sounded like they were straight out the Godfather. Then there are the lebs and the polacks and and a great mix of European Cultures.
Wogs. The lot of them. :)
To reduce the movie to laughing at the lack of intelligence in the family or to picking on racial minorities (not that the wogs are a minority in Melbourne), is to miss the point entirely. If you don't live in Aus, I can fully understand why this would be the case.
But simply because a movie is a outside your understanding or experience or doesn't fit your personal expectations of what is "funny" it no reason to condemn it. Once you get more sophisticated than "Beverly Hills Cop", you are not going to carry 100% of the audience, and the audience shouldn't expect that it would. (Notable exceptions exist.. Dead Poets' Society immediately comes to mind)
Personally, I like movies is one that makes a social comment, or those that a rift in society and stir informed debate. The Castle is a reflection on the "Australian Dream", if such a thing exists, which is that everybody should get "A fair go". This is streets apart from the American dream of riches beyond imagination at the expense of everything else, and highlights the great difference between the two cultures.
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