After getting threatened by Kelly's friends and family, Constable Fitzpatrick places the blame on Ned Kelly and exaggerates what happened. With the biggest ever award available, Kelly and his gang set into the wild, to remain hidden from everyone who seeks them. Even if it means having his family arrested, the members of the Kelly Gang stay hidden and plan a way to get their names cleared.
It’s Regina versus us; The Kelly Gang.
Ned Kelly is directed by Gregor Jordan and written by John Michael McDonagh (based on “Our Sunshine” written by Robert Drewe). It stars Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Naomi Watts, Geoffrey Rush and Joel Edgerton. Music is by Klaus Badelt and cinematography by Oliver Stapleton.
The Australian Robin Hood? Well not quite, but Ned Kelly’s name and exploits live on for ever more. As is often the case with film’s of this type, such as Braveheart, it’s best to approach them as interpretations of real events and people, than actual historical facts. The core basis of Ned Kelly the man is here, and the picture built around him is handsomely mounted. Also ripe with strong character portrayals by the key actors (fluctuating accents and dodgy beards aside) and shot through with enough lyrical smarts by Jordan, it’s a film big on atmosphere and authentic feel.
However, obviously hamstrung by budget and running time etc, much of the story feels incomplete. There’s also the problem of under using Geoffrey Rush, who although playing a key character in the Kelly legend, is only on the periphery of things. Still, the evident problems can’t stop it from being an engaging piece of entertainment. It’s consistently beautiful to look at, Badelt’s mournful musical score is an absolute cracker and the action is well staged by the passionate Jordan.
We are still waiting for the definitive Ned Kelly Gang movie, because although this is made with care of the source stories, it only scratches the surface of this most interesting period of Australian history. 7/10
Woss Group Film Productions, StudioCanal, Endymion Films, WTA, Working Title Films, Australian Film Commission, Australian Film Finance Corporation by Gregor Jordan, Robert Drewe, John Michael McDonagh.
Stars: Heath Ledger, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Crime, History, Romance, Western
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