Despite being no saint herself, Julia Cody has shielded her seventeen year old son, Joshua "J" Cody, from her Melbourne-based criminal relatives who they have not seen in years. After Julia dies in front of J's eyes from a self-inflicted heroin overdose, J, who is slightly detached from life, feels he has no choice but to contact his maternal grandmother, Janine "Smurf" Cody, the family matriarch, for a place to live. Smurf rules the family with a borderline incestuous love over her three sons, the quietly menacing Andrew "Pope" Cody, the hyperactive Craig Cody, and the barely of age Darren Cody. Pope and his best friend, Barry "Baz" Brown, are armed robbers, with Darren their up and coming apprentice, while Craig is a mid level drug dealer. Melbourne's Armed Robbery Squad is after specifically Pope, who is hiding out. But when the standoff between the Codys and the Armed Robbery Squad is brought up a notch, an all out war ensues, with some casualties and J caught in the middle. The ...Written by
Animal Kingdom is an Australian film that focuses on a seventeen year old young man named Josh. Josh's mother has just died and not knowing who he should call he calls his grandmother Janine. Josh explains to Janine the situation and she goes to pick him up and lets him stay with her at her home. What we also learn is that Josh and Janine have not seen each other in years. Janine is Josh's mother's mother and they had a falling out, so because of that they have not seen each other for quite a long time. Usually around Janine's house are her sons and Josh's uncles. We soon see that they are involved in numerous criminal and other illegal behaviour and that the police are on to them. One officer by the name of Leckie, continually questions Josh, and in his own way tries to protect him from his family and as time goes on, Josh, starts to see what he means because whenever Josh, has been questioned his uncles are very uneasy around him and the fear and ultimately violent actions that take place will leave Josh with a tough decision, which is whether to turn his uncles in and betray the only family he has, or to lie to Leckie and continue to live in fear. Animal Kingdom works for several reasons. It is a very intense and disturbing film that is in it's own way is also a very creepy and scary film. The performances and the musical score really elaborate this and at times I was getting uncomfortable in my seat not knowing what would happen in this film and because of the brilliant performances and music the film made me squirm in my seat even more. The film has a gritty and earthy type of look and feel to it, which I found appropriate for the story telling and basically the setting and mood the filmmakers were trying to get across. The story is quite an involving one and as it moved on I started to care for Josh, and hoped that he would make it out of this terrible situation and that in one way, or another he would go on to bigger and better things. Also every time his uncles were on screen they struck a fear and uncomfortable feeling inside of me and basically real genuine fear of these characters. The film is a low budget film, but by using very good actors, music and story it elevates it to become a first grade picture that I think most people would like, if they would only give it a chance and go see it. This is an incredibly powerful and disturbing film and it will leave an impact on you because of how masterfully it was done with it's great cast, crew and story. One of the most suspenseful and powerful films of the year that deserves a look from others because behind all this lies a really good movie and one that should be seen.
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